It's easy for a player to show some signs of rust after missing the first month of the season. But after a rough few weeks, Jake Marisnick has finally gotten into the swing of things. Literally.
The Marlins' No. 2 prospect was 3-for-3 with a homer as Double-A Jacksonville defeated Birmingham, 5-3, on Thursday.
Marisnick smacked his fourth Southern League homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth inning that gave the Suns a 3-2 lead. The former Riverside, Calif., high schooler singled twice, stole two bases and also was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat.
"I was just being patient, getting a good pitch to hit and putting a good swing on it," Marisnick said. "I wasn't trying to do too much and the results speak for themselves. Every time I step onto the field, I want to impact any way I can and I was able to do that a couple of different ways tonight."
The 22-year-old outfielder suffered a broken hand in Spring Training and missed the month of April for the Suns. After a three-game stint with Class A Advanced Jupiter in the Florida State League, Marisnick joined Jacksonville on May 1. He struggled initially, batting .224 through his first 14 games.
Over his last five games, however, Marisnick is 9-for-17 with two homers and five RBIs. Four of the five games have been multi-hit contests and he's tallied a run in each of those games.
"Just kind of been timing, getting back into the rhythm of things," Marisnick said. "I haven't had a whole lot of at-bats and I've been patient."
He was quick to praise his teammates for helping to put the relative newcomer at ease. Marisnick joined the Marlins organization in the November trade that sent Jose Reyes to Toronto.
"It helps, the camaraderie we have and having those guys support me and those guys picking me up," he said. "It's a fun team to play with. There's a lot good talent out here. It's been a great season and it's been fun getting to know these players."
Christian Yelich doubled and scored on Marisnick's blast. Having a one-two punch comprised of an organization's two top hitting prospects is not something you see often at the top of a lineup. Getting to hit behind MLB.com's No. 12 prospect has provided Marisnick with plenty of chances to pick up on things from Yelich.
"It's kind of fun to watch, he's a great hitter," Marisnick said. "I've definitely learned a lot watch from watching him."
Ryan Fisher smacked a two-run homer in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie for the Suns.
Jay Jackson allowed two runs -- one earned -- on one hit and struck out four over six innings but did not figure into the decision for Jacksonville. Scott McGough improved to 4-0 after giving up just a solo homer in two frames of relief. Michael Brady fanned two in a hitless ninth for his ninth save.
Michael Earley hit a solo homer for the Barons.