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Yelich enjoying success in season's final days

Yelich enjoying success in season's final days

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Yelich enjoying success in season's final days

MIAMI -- Making it through the stretch run in the big leagues is something new for Miami rookie Christian Yelich, but being a productive hitter isn't.

At every level, Yelich has performed.

The difference now is the 21-year-old is experiencing the grind of making it through the final month of a Major League campaign. In the Minor Leagues, the left-handed-hitting outfielder was used to being done either in late August or early September.

So far, Yelich has posted strong numbers this month, going 12-for-25 (.480) over his first six games of September.

Always regarded as a natural hitter, Yelich has seen his overall batting average rise to .292 and his on-base percentage is now .360.

Gaining valuable experience is something he is striving for over the season's final three weeks.

"You keep playing baseball and learning," the rookie said. "The more at-bats you can get under your belt, the more comfortable you're going to be. I don't think I'm looking to change anything or do anything I haven't done already. I'm just trying to stay consistent, and battle it out every night."

Since the return of Chris Coghlan from injury, Yelich has moved from leadoff to hitting third. Coghlan has moved into the top spot in the order.

No matter where he's batted, Yelich retains a patient approach, drawing his share of walks and deep counts.

"It's been the same, so far," said Yelich. "I think the way they go about you depends on if guys are in scoring position or not. That's the same if you're hitting leadoff with a guy in scoring position, or you're hitting third with a guy in scoring position. It's the same. I haven't really seen anything too different.

"You're trying to get on base no matter where you are at. But if you are hitting third, you have more opportunity to drive in some runs."

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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