The Marlins demoted the 21-year-old outfielder to Minor League camp Friday, where he'll prepare to open the season with Double-A Jacksonville.
MLB.com's No. 13 prospect was never expected to make the jump directly from Class A Advanced Jupiter to the Major Leagues, but he turned a number of heads with his Grapefruit League performance. Yelich led the Marlins in home runs (five), RBIs (14) and runs scored (13) while posting a .364 batting average with a .451 on-base percentage and an .818 slugging percentage.
His timing on those round-trippers was good, too. On March 2, he hit a lead-off homer against the Mets off Matt Harvey, and then on March 11, his two-out, two-run, walk-off homer off Red Sox reliever Chris Carpenter gave the Marlins an 8-7 victory.
"You come in here with realistic expectations," Yelich told MLB.com. "I came in here not expecting to make the team, but with the idea of, go have fun, make a good impression and just enjoy the time you're up here."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond had no doubt that the outfielder achieved those goals.
"He had a great spring," Redmond said. "Like we'd been talking about all spring, he was very impressive. Not just on the field, but the way he handled himself. He's a great teammate. He's a great player. His day will come.
"We've talked about him not having an at-bat above [Class] A ball. Just continue to do what he's doing in Double-A."
The Marlins' No. 2 prospect spent just about all of last season in the Florida State League, where he hit .330 with a .404 on-base percentage and a .519 slugging percentage.
The 2010 first-round pick is expected to be joined in Jupiter's outfield by the team's No. 3 prospect, Jake Marisnick, and its No. 7 prospect, Marcel Ozuna.
"It will be nice not having to answer the question, are you going to stay or not?" Yelich said. "I was getting that a lot the last week. It will be go down there and get at-bats every day. I knew this was going to happen. It was a matter of when. It will be good to go down and be with the team I'm going to be with."