WSH@MIA: Marlins top Draft pick Moran talks signing

MIAMI -- Within the next couple of seasons, the Marlins anticipate Colin Moran becoming their everyday third baseman.

On Saturday afternoon, the 20-year-old got his first taste of hitting at Marlins Park.

The sixth overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Moran went through pregame workouts and took batting practice with the Marlins.

It's become a tradition for Miami's top picks to have one workout with the big league club before they head to the Minor Leagues. Moran, who officially signed on Friday, will be starting his pro career at low Class A Greensboro on Monday.

"I'm just trying to have fun and meet everybody for the first time," said Moran, who attended the University of North Carolina. "Playing in the park for the first time, I'm just trying to get comfortable."

A native of Rye, N.Y., Moran grew up rooting for the Yankees. He was a big fan of Tino Martinez, Miami's hitting coach.

"He was one of my favorite players," Moran said. "Having a chance to meet him and talk with him was just awesome."

The Marlins anticipate Moran will be on the fast track to the big leagues. If he shows promise at Greensboro, he could advance to Class A Jupiter by the end of the season.

Plans also are in the works for Moran to attend the club's minicamp in Jupiter, Fla., in September. And he likely will be headed to the Arizona Fall League.

The skillset Moran possesses reminds some in the organization of Robin Ventura, the former slick-fielding third baseman who now manages the White Sox.

In Moran's first couple of rounds in batting practice, he was spraying line drives to all fields. A left-handed hitter, he even turned on a ball and knocked it over the wall in right field, into the Marlins' bullpen.

In the field, Moran took grounders at third base. He also had a chance to meet Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton while standing there. Stanton was in the midst of his round of hitting, and when he circled the bases, he stopped at third, and used the opportunity to shake Moran's hand.

"He's huge," Moran said. "He's one of the bigger players I've ever seen. Watching his batting practice was impressive. He's a phenomenal player. Having a chance to meet him was awesome. Hopefully I'll get to play with him someday."

Back from injury, Yelich returns to Futures Game

Top Prospects: Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins

MIAMI -- A year ago, Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez both got a taste of All-Star festivities by participating in the Futures Game in Kansas City.

Both young talents are once again heading back to the big stage. While Fernandez will be representing the Marlins in Tuesday's All-Star Game at Citi Field, Yelich will again be competing in Sunday's Futures Game.

Yelich, a 21-year-old outfielder at Double-A Jacksonville, is ranked as Miami's No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com.

Regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in the game, Yelich has been hampered by injuries this season. He missed much of April with a right heel ailment, and in June, he served another disabled list stint with an abdominal strain.

If not for injuries, Yelich may have already received his first big league callup.

"Has it interrupted the timeline? Yes," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "But, Christian is back playing in Double-A. He's going to play in the Futures Game. He feels fine. Now, it's just a matter of ramping him back up in Double-A and getting his timing back."

Yelich, a Thousand Oaks, Calif., native, hasn't posted his typical big numbers. He's appeared in 44 Double-A games, plus another seven at Class A Jupiter in rehab assignments. Overall, he's batting .257 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.

A year ago at Jupiter, he hit .330.

With a productive next few weeks, Yelich likely could be called up to play either center field or left for the Marlins. First, he has to show he is ready for the big leagues.

"It's a rhythmic game, it's an everyday game," Beinfest said. "They're playing, and then they're out three weeks, and you have to re-ramp up everything and get your timing back.

"We sent Christian to Jupiter for a few days before we sent him back to Double-A, just to get your timing back. It's very hard to stop and start. It just is."

Coghlan encouraged, eyes second-half return

MIA@PHI: Coghlan dives to snag Rollins' fly ball

MIAMI -- Injured Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan is hopeful for a return this season after resuming baseball activities on Friday.

Coghlan ran on an anti-gravity treadmill on Friday. A return would likely come later in the second half, considering how much time Coghlan has missed. The 28-year-old has dealt with some uncertainty regarding his injury. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right calf nerve irritation on June 9, but an MRI exam on June 10 revealed the issue was actually in his back.

However, quicker progress than expected has encouraged Coghlan.

"I feel way better," Coghlan said. "I would think way better. I've had a lot more time to process things. Things have gone better than expected than what I was originally diagnosed with. I'm hopeful for a return."

Worth noting

• Jacob Turner will start the Marlins' first game after the All-Star break on July 19 in Milwaukee. Miami has not solidified its second-half rotation yet, but Marlins manager Mike Redmond said All-Star rookie Jose Fernandez will be the fifth man to throw after the break.

• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria leads the National League with a .442 batting average in July. He currently owns a career-best hitting streak of 11 games.