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Hechavarria moved up to leadoff spot

Hechavarria moved up to leadoff spot

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MILWAUKEE -- For weeks, Adeiny Hechavarria's batting average has been on the rise. Now, his spot in the batting order is trending upward, as well.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond moved Hechavarria into the leadoff spot Saturday after hitting primarily at the bottom of the order for much of the season.

In Friday's 2-0 loss to the Brewers, Hechavarria had three hits, elevating his batting average to .248. It's still a modest number, but more impressive considering he was at .203 on June 30.

Since July 1, Hechavarria's .444 average is the highest in the Majors.

With the Marlins struggling to score, Redmond felt the timing was right to move the shortstop to the top of the order.

Hechavarria is respected for his hard work and commitment to improving with hitting coach Tino Martinez.

"He's worked so hard with Tino on his approach," Redmond said. "Tino has put in a lot of hours in the cage with him, and you're starting to see the results. You can see his confidence when he goes up to the plate."

The Marlins are looking to energize the top of the order.

Miami's leadoff batters are averaging .220 with a .272 on-base percentage. Those figures rank 29th out of 30 teams.

A rookie obtained from the Blue Jays last November, Hechavarria is a standout defensively. Offense will continue to be a work in progress. The Marlins believe it may take a few years before they see the best the 24-year-old can offer at the plate.

"Hopefully, he will be able to keep grinding out his at-bats," Redmond said. "He's got speed. He can run. He can do a lot of things. Hopefully, now we can see that offensive side of his game come out."

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

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