How Much Longer Can Miami Marlins Hold Christian Yelich Back?

By Thom Tsang
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In a number of ways, the question of whether the Miami Marlins can continue to keep top prospect Christian Yelich down in the minors has a rather obvious answer.

Of course they can. Aside from the fact that the outfielder is just 21 year old, and that he’s had all but 118 PA above the A-Advanced level … well, there’s just really no good reason why the Marlins, considering that they’re nowhere even close to competing, should rush their top hitting prospect onto a team full of minor leaguers (and Giancarlo Stanton).

Then again, you could just as easily say the same thing about Jose Fernandez, or Marcell Ozuna, and it’s not as though that stopped the team from starting their service clocks ahead of schedule, yes?

So, while the team is all about moving prospects (somewhat irresponsibly) ahead of schedule, there’s a plenty fine argument for why their prized outfielder should be the next one to get the call to the bigs soon, if not right away.

The most notable of these is the fact that he’s pretty much figured out the Double-A level, even with just 25 games of experience.

No, Yelich didn’t get off to the kind of blistering start that most had expected (.239 BA over the first 10 games), but he’s since turned things around in a hurry, and is currently the owner of a .320/.390/.680 triple-slash with a whopping six homers. He’s failed to get on base via a walk or a base hit in just one game, and he still managed to contribute a RBI in that contest. Yes, I think he’s just about ready to move on.

Oh, and did I mention that he’s a year younger than Ozuna? And the fact that the team is still somehow running out Juan Pierre and his .569 OPS at a starting left fielder/leadoff man?

With the team’s lone star in Stanton still a little ways away from jogging in his rehab from a busted hamstring, now would be as good a time as any to give the Marlins faithful a look at the future of the franchise — exactly because it’s a whole lot promising than Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco.

It doesn’t really make sense in the strictest baseball sense (Yelich’s arm isn’t necessarily strong enough to play center when Stanton comes back, etc.), but not much does when it comes to the Marlins these days. If the team is set on giving their supporters something to watch at the park, there’s no reason not to do it right.

The team’s best hitting prospect and next potential impact young star is pounding at the door. Expect the Fish to answer sooner rather than later.

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