April slumps bring May booms. At least for Jake Marisnick, they do.
The Marlins' No. 3 prospect was 4-for-5 with a homer and a season-high five RBIs as Triple-A New Orleans bested Round Rock, 16-9, on Thursday.
Marisnick got on the board quickly, slugging a three-run homer as part of the Zephyrs' five-run first inning. After flying out in the third, the 23-year-old singled and scored in the fifth. Marisnick smacked a two-run triple in the sixth before singling in his final at-bat, finishing a double short of the cycle.
"I was just comfortable," he said. "I was relaxed and able to get some good pitches and put some good swings on them."
Marisnick, who scored three times, endured a tough April in which he posted a .182/.239/.273 slash line in 26 Pacific Coast League games. After falling short of securing a big league job with the Marlins in Spring Training, the Florida native felt he was trying too hard to do it all early in the season.
"In April, I put a little too much pressure on myself and tried to do too much. That's been something that's hurt me in the past," Marisnick said. "When I get into a situation where I try to do too much, I end up hurting myself. Every swing, just trying to overswing and chasing bad pitches instead of talking walks."
May has been a complete turnaround, with the 6-foot-4 outfielder posting an .884 OPS in 26 games. Marisnick has slugged three of his four homers this month, driven in 13 runs and batted .340. He is currently riding an 11-game hit streak as well.
"I think this last month, just settling down, letting things happen and letting things come to me," he said. "That's part of going out there, competing and not worrying about what I did in the at-bats before. I think I got caught up in that in the first month, not getting a hit in my first couple of at-bats and then pressing."
Overall, Marisnick is batting .259 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 52 games this season and is 11-for-13 in stolen base attempts.
With a talented outfield in Miami, it may prove tough for Marisnick to find his way back to the Major Leagues soon, though he's not worrying about when the call might come for him.
"I think the biggest thing is just going out and playing every pitch as hard as I can," he said. "The more I think about that, the more pressure I'll put on myself."
Justin Bour homered and drove in three runs while Rob Brantly was 3-for-5 with three runs scored for the Zephyrs.
Alex Sanabia improved to 2-1 after giving up three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings for New Orleans.
Brad Snyder and J.P. Arencibia homered in the loss for the Express.