There are high hopes for new Miami Marlins starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason blockbuster that exploded everyone minds, Hechavarria was targeted as the next Marlins shortstop to replace Jose Reyes in the new look Marlins defensive alignment. Hechavarria stayed healthy through Spring Training and earned himself a starting job. He is only 23-years-old and the Marlins will have him for some time which will give him time to develop under Mike Redmond‘s system. With a young manager like Redmond, it will be easier for him to learn.
A Cuban defect, Hechavarria batted over .300 in Triple-A Las Vegas last season in the Blue Jays’ farm system. He is a good defensive talent, but it is on the offensive side of the game that has his coaches raving about him. Even more so, he will have a hard challenge this season being the No. 8 batter in the order because he will see fewer quality pitches to hit because the pitcher is right behind him. Strategy at the eight hole is something that hitting coach Tino Martinez helped him out with in spring.
“That’s one thing he has to learn,” hitting coach Martinez told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. “In the spring, if there was a base open and a man on second and two outs, he struck out a few times on sliders in the dirt.
“We kept talking with him about, in that situation, you’ve got to be patient still. On a 3-2 count, they can throw anything they want because of the hitter who is on deck. We’re trying to get him to realize that. And how important it is to walk in that situation and get the pitcher up, to clear him for the next inning. He’s starting to get to realize that as well.”
In 41 games with the Blue Jays last season as a September call-up, Hechavarria batted .254/.280/.365 with eight doubles and 15 RBI. There is no doubt that he will get a chance to blossom this season in his first full year as a ballplayer.