Yelich named Marlins' Heart and Hustle Award winner

Yelich named Marlins' Heart and Hustle Award winner

ATLANTA -- Christian Yelich on Wednesday will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his MLB debut. Already, the 22-year-old has gained the respect of players who made their impacts on the game well before he arrived.

On Tuesday, Yelich was named the Marlins' 2014 Heart and Hustle Award winner, as selected by the MLB Players Alumni Association.

The award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.

"It really is an honor when your peers notice you're playing the game the right way, and going about your business night after night," Yelich said.

A first-round Draft pick in 2010, Yelich became the Marlins' regular left fielder last July 23, and he's currently leading off.

"He is the type of player who has an impact both on and off the field," said Carl Pavano, member of the Marlins' 2003 World Series championship team and current Marlins analyst with FOX Sports Florida.

The winner from all 30 clubs' nominees will be announced on Nov. 18 at the 15th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City.

"Playing the game the right way, and playing the game hard," Yelich said. "It's an honor to be mentioned with some of those other guys that were chosen for their respective organizations."

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