Hot hitting has Hech's average looking a lot different
MIAMI -- In a Marlins lineup featuring the talents of Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, nobody is swinging the bat better these days than shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. The shortstop has upped his average from .176 to .236 since June 3, and he took a 10-game hitting streak into Friday.
With a base hit in the series opener against the Nationals, Hechavarria would achieve a career-high 11-game hitting streak after tying his previous best of 10 with a 2-for-3 performance in Wednesday's 6-2 win against the Braves.
Hechavarria is batting .436 (17-for-39) during the streak, with three RBIs and three runs scored. He is batting .316 (37-for-117) since June 5, marking the third-best clip in the Majors by a shortstop during that span.
The way the 24-year-old is hitting now is far removed from the struggles that had his batting average below the Mendoza line from April 10-May 15, and again from May 26-June 8. He has been hitting .200 and above since June 15.
"We've all said that this is a kid who's going to hit," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I've said it all year that I marvel at how he cannot carry his offense out to play defense and how well he's handled that in times when he's struggled.
"We all knew that he was going to hit, and he's starting to show that. He works hard at his hitting with [hitting coach Tino Martinez], and his approach has gotten better. It's fun to see him go out there now and see some results."
Redmond praised Hechavarria for using the whole field as of late. The manager said that opposing pitchers try to force younger hitters to go to the opposite field by throwing outside, and he believes the shortstop has adjusted.
Hechavarria has sent 11 of his 17 hits during his current hitting streak to either center or right field.
"It's so important that he stays on pitches and drives his balls up the middle and the other way," Redmond said. "I think that's why he's had the success he has had over the last few weeks is because instead of just trying to pull balls, he's been able to stay on balls and hit balls hard up the middle."
Redmond hopes Hechavarria reaching base more often will provide a chance for the 24-year-old to showcase his speed. The shortstop has stolen only four bases this year.
"He's got speed," Redmond said. "And that'll show as he continues to improve offensively."