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Yelich hosts youth camp at former high school

Marlins center fielder returns to alma mater as part of MLB Players Go Home series
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- There was a time when Christian Yelich was just one of the kids in the crowd, attending baseball clinics and picking up pointers from big leaguers.

Now an established center fielder with the Marlins, Yelich is the one hosting his own camp and doing his part to engage young players in the sport. As part of the MLB Players Association's MLB Players Go Home series, the Christian Yelich Baseball ProCamp was conducted over the past few days at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

MIAMI -- There was a time when Christian Yelich was just one of the kids in the crowd, attending baseball clinics and picking up pointers from big leaguers.

Now an established center fielder with the Marlins, Yelich is the one hosting his own camp and doing his part to engage young players in the sport. As part of the MLB Players Association's MLB Players Go Home series, the Christian Yelich Baseball ProCamp was conducted over the past few days at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

As a kid, Yelich attended his share of camps. He recalls meeting former big leaguer Mark Teahen and current Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

"Those were the only two times I really had any interaction with Major League Baseball players," Yelich said in an interview with MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "That's part of why I wanted to do this, to give back to the community. I've met a few from being in the area and the high school, alumni games."

Yelich, who attended Westlake, was the Marlins' first-round Draft pick in 2010, and he's become one of the top young outfielders in the Majors. A Gold Glove Award winner in '14 and a Silver Slugger winner in '16, Yelich batted .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 36 doubles, 81 RBIs and 100 runs scored this past season.

Video: ATL@MIA: Yelich smacks RBI single to center field

"Mike Scioscia used to put on a lot of camps," Yelich said. "I went to his. When we played the Angels, I actually talked to him about it. He remembered."

Yelich has been a fixture with the Marlins since his rookie season in 2013. In March '15, he signed a seven-year deal for $49.57 million, and he's set to make $7 million in '18.

Miami, however, could be rebuilding. Yelich is one of the organization's most coveted players.

"We have a new regime that came in," Yelich said. "I haven't spoken with them. I don't know the plan. I don't know what's going to happen. But we'll see. It's part of the business, part of being a Major League Baseball player. There's the possibility you can be moved, or your friends get moved or whatnot. We'll see where it's headed. It should be an interesting couple of months. Most of it's out of our control."

Yelich was part of the 2013 rebuild in Miami, and he would prefer not to repeat the process.

"Obviously, everybody wants to win," Yelich said. "Unfortunately, we haven't had a season of being .500 there. I think we have the pieces there to win, it's just a matter of the direction. I don't necessarily want to go through another rebuild. I came up during a rebuild. It was tough. It was different circumstances at the time, you're getting your feet wet in the Major Leagues, and you're trying to understand the league. Now, you just really want to win and experience what that would be like. We'll see how the future plays out and what the plan is. I haven't talked to anyone."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Christian Yelich