When infield coach Perry Hill likes what he sees from one of his players, he usually salutes them by shouting with the type of energy reserved for a crazed college offensive line coach on game day.
“Stop it!” Hill will scream before either pumping his fist or tipping his cap after a good defensive play. “That’s what I’m talking about!”
Adeiny Hechavarria doesn’t quite understand what Hill is saying. Hechavarria’s English needs more work. But the 23-year-old, Cuban-born, new Marlins shortstop gets the gist of Hill’s celebrations. Hechavarria (5-11, 180) said good defensive work fires him up, too.
“I like the way he motivates his players — it motivates you to keep going, to do it better,” said Hechavarria, a Triple A All-Star last season with the Blue Jays who was targeted by the Yankees as a potential replacement for Derek Jeter when he first defected through Mexico in 2009.
“[Hill] wants things done right, and that’s what I want — for things to be done right on the field.”
The Marlins, who open Grapefruit League play Saturday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals, acquired Hechavarria, pitcher Henderson Alvarez and top outfield prospect Jake Marisnick as the primary pieces in their blockbuster 12-player trade with the Blue Jays in November.
President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Hechavarria could end up being the best defensive shortstop the Marlins have had in a long time, and projects him to hit seventh — or somewhere in the bottom half of the order — when the regular season kicks off April 1 in Washington.
Marlins hope Cuban-born Adeiny Hechavarria is long-term fixture at shortstop
Miami Herald | Feb 23