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Hechavarria develops at leadoff spot in lineup

Hechavarria develops at leadoff spot in lineup

Hechavarria develops at leadoff spot in lineup

CHICAGO -- Adeiny Hechavarria moved into the leadoff spot in late July after starting the month hot at the plate. Though he hit .324 that month, he struggled in August, hitting .196.

Prior to Monday's game against the Cubs, he was hitting .227 (17-for-75) in the leadoff spot this season.

Manager Mike Redmond said he wants to get the 24-year-old more experience in the leadoff slot, and that Hechavarria has been improving.

"I think it's good experience the more he hits at the top of the order," Redmond said. "He's kind of hot-and-cold. He'll go good for a while and then start expanding the zone, but right now it seems like his at-bats have been good [and] his approach has been good. ... You may not day-in and day-out see the results, but we do, and he's worked hard at it.

"I think he's going to be a top-of-the-order type of hitter, whether it be a leadoff guy or a two-hole guy down the road."

Redmond said that Hechavarria has been working on specific areas that can help him improve as a leadoff man.

"[He's working on] a lot of things, swinging at strikes, driving the ball the other way, those things that you talk a lot about with young hitters. [Also] hitting the ball a little deeper and [hitting] the ball to right field instead of being a one-dimensional type hitter. But he's been able to make the adjustments."

Hechavarria said he's comfortable in the leadoff role.

"I feel comfortable," Hechavarria said through translator and Marlins third-base coach Joe Espada. "I'm just trying to look for a good pitch to hit and try to keep it simple. ... [As far as] adjustments, anywhere in the lineup you've always got to make adjustments. [Taking more pitches and drawing walks] is part of the plan also."

Hechavarria added that he's happy to be in the lineup, no matter what position in the order.

"I like [hitting] anywhere in the lineup," Hechavarria said. "I'm just enjoying being in the lineup."

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyBal9. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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