Back from injury, Yelich returns to Futures Game
MIAMI -- A year ago, Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez both got a taste of All-Star festivities by participating in the Futures Game in Kansas City.
Both young talents are once again heading back to the big stage. While Fernandez will be representing the Marlins in Tuesday's All-Star Game at Citi Field, Yelich will again be competing in Sunday's Futures Game.
Yelich, a 21-year-old outfielder at Double-A Jacksonville, is ranked as Miami's No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in the game, Yelich has been hampered by injuries this season. He missed much of April with a right heel ailment, and in June, he served another disabled list stint with an abdominal strain.
If not for injuries, Yelich may have already received his first big league callup.
"Has it interrupted the timeline? Yes," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "But, Christian is back playing in Double-A. He's going to play in the Futures Game. He feels fine. Now, it's just a matter of ramping him back up in Double-A and getting his timing back."
Yelich, a Thousand Oaks, Calif., native, hasn't posted his typical big numbers. He's appeared in 44 Double-A games, plus another seven at Class A Jupiter in rehab assignments. Overall, he's batting .257 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.
A year ago at Jupiter, he hit .330.
With a productive next few weeks, Yelich likely could be called up to play either center field or left for the Marlins. First, he has to show he is ready for the big leagues.
"It's a rhythmic game, it's an everyday game," Beinfest said. "They're playing, and then they're out three weeks, and you have to re-ramp up everything and get your timing back.
"We sent Christian to Jupiter for a few days before we sent him back to Double-A, just to get your timing back. It's very hard to stop and start. It just is."