The Marlins were content for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to have his glove do most of his talking. But they also felt the 24-year-old could swing the bat a bit, and now he’s finally proving it.
Hechavarria extended his hitting streak to 10 games Wednesday with a single and a double, raising his average for the month to .436.
“We’ve all said this is a kid who’s going to hit,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Hechavarria, who began the month with a .203 average, has raised it to .236.
“I’ve been working on staying closed and driving the ball to right field,” Hechavarria said through a translator. “I’ve been working with [hitting coach] Tino Martinez, and I’ve been applying what he’s been teaching me.”
Hechavarria said he’s “more calm at the plate,” which has helped him.
“The ball was diving before,” Ozuna said. “Jon Rauch told me to grab the ball with the seams behind. I saw the difference right away. The ball went straight, straight, straight — no movement.”
Ozuna recorded his eighth outfield assist on Tuesday when he threw out the Braves’ Chris Johnson at the plate. Only Arizona’s Gerardo Parra and Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez — with nine each — have more outfield assists.
Rauch isn’t the only person Ozuna credits with helping him defensively and with throwing, in particular. He said Marlins minor-league outfield coordinator Tarrik Brock instilled in him the need to always hit the cutoff man, and Marlins front office assistant and Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson improved his footwork.
“Before, I made a lot of mistakes when I threw because I threw high, and the ball had a lot of movement,” Ozuna said. “I worked on that during the offseason in winter ball, and then Rauch told me how to grip the ball to make it flat.”
Coming upThursday Friday Nathan Eovaldi