Ozuna climbing up Marlins' batting order

Ozuna climbing up Marlins' batting order

PHILADELPHIA -- Less than a week in the big leagues, and Marcell Ozuna is making a case to move up in the order.

The 22-year-old right field prospect batted fifth on Saturday night against Philadelphia lefty Cole Hamels. In time, he could be at the top or the middle of the order.

"He's definitely got the tools to be a top-of-the-order guy, down the road," manager Mike Redmond said. "Right now, I'm very happy with his approaches at the plate. He's being selective. He's laying off some breaking balls."

Ideally, the Marlins were hopeful to keep Ozuna at Double-A Jacksonville for at least a couple of months. But out of necessity, he was called up on Tuesday after All-Star Giancarlo Stanton sustained a strained right hamstring.

Stanton could miss at least a month, and Ozuna has the defensive skills and throwing arm to stay in right field.

"In the first game that he played, they threw him like six or eight breaking balls in a row," Redmond said. "They were testing him right out of the chute. He laid off some and got some pitches to hit, and that's what we're looking for. If he can stick with the approach he's doing right now, he will be fine."

At Jacksonville, Ozuna was hitting second behind another touted prospect, Christian Yelich.

If he continues to make an impact at the plate, Ozuna could find himself at the top of the order.

"Ideally, I'd like to keep him down a little bit lower," Redmond said. "But at this point, we're going to move up guys who are hitting. We've got to have guys who are getting hits at the top of the order."

A year ago, Ozuna was with Class A Jupiter in the Florida State League. Redmond, who managed Dunedin then, faced Ozuna.

"I really liked him in the Minor Leagues," Redmond said. "I liked his attitude. I liked the way he played. He was having fun. That's the way you've got to play in the big leagues: Go out there like you've got nothing to lose. He's got nothing to lose. He was in Double-A. He's been given a chance to go out there and play and have fun. He's fun to watch. He's got the tools. He can run, he can hit, he can hit for power and he can throw. He's got all those tools. It's fun to see a kid go out there and have fun and let your talents take over."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter