Miami Marlins prospect Austin Dean got the call he has been waiting for since he started playing baseball. The outfielder was called up to the Major Leagues on Wednesday after a solid campaign with the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
Miami Marlins outfielder Austin Dean has had a season in the minors players wish they had. After a scorching April in Jacksonville, the Marlins Double-A affiliate, where he was named the Southern League Player of the Month, the 24-year-old was promoted to Triple-A New Orleans where his bat never cooled off.
Dean showed from the start of the 2018 season, while at Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida, he wanted to play the game at a high level. Team owner Derek Jeter spoke to everyone in camp about playing hard, having an equal chance at success no matter how they arrived with the team.
It’s something Dean remembered and used as fuel for his passion for the game this season. It’s also something Don Mattingly, the Marlins manager remembered vividly and talked about it with MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
"“Derek talked about it in the spring, ‘If you perform, you’re going to have a chance to get here,'” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s really what he’s done. I’m looking forward to seeing him [Dean] get an opportunity and seeing him play. A lot of people think he has a chance to hit here.”"
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I saw Dean play the first month here in Jacksonville. He was one of the few holdovers from last year’s team, something he made of the most of by hitting a combined .345/.410/.511 with 12 home runs, 68 RBIs, and a .922 OPS.
Where Dean fits in the organization’s plans has yet to be determined. The Marlins have recalled many outfielders in the past month, which means there could be a logjam for playing time. With the return of centerfielder Lewis Brinson in the near future, playing time might be even tougher.
"“He’s had a tremendous season,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “Like I’ve said, it’s always nice when players put themselves on the radar. With Austin this year, he’s definitely opened a lot of eyes.”"
Dean was a fourth-round pick in 2012 and has continued to push forward and make his managers and coaches in the minors take notice.
“When I got called up to Triple-A, it was my second time getting promoted during the season,” Dean said. “It was good to get that, knowing that my hard work has paid off. Obviously, getting promoted here has been the biggest accomplishment.”
With this move, the Marlins will bring Anderson back to the infield at third base. To make room for the rookie, the team optioned Christopher Bostick to New Orleans.