Peter O’Brien must become the Marlins power source

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Peter O'Brien #45 of the Miami Marlins is congratulated after he hit a two-run home run during the fourth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Peter O'Brien #45 of the Miami Marlins is congratulated after he hit a two-run home run during the fourth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Peter O’Brien has the potential to become the slugger the Miami Marlins lack in the middle of their lineup this coming season.

While it might be a lot to ask of a player who is trying to find his place on the Miami Marlins roster, but the organization hopes Peter O’Brien can be the slugger the middle of the batting order needs. This past weekend, he showed with one swing of the bat, he can change the outcome of a game.

At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, O’Brien looks like the typical Paul Bunyan-type of hitter. On Sunday, in a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, the right fielder accounted for all of the team’s runs with a grand slam and another RBI to propel the team to victory. While he may have started the Grapefruit League slowly, O’Brien is heating up at the right time.

In a small sample size of what he can do on the Major League level, O’Brien impressed the Marlins front office and the coaching staff in September. In the final month of 2018, the 28-year-old outfielder/first baseman had a slash line of .273/.338/.530. The staff really took notice with his four home runs and 10 RBIs.

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It may have been a sign of things to come, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro pointed out.

"“Last Sept. 18, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder blistered a home run to left field off Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg. And on Sept. 9 at Citi Field, O’Brien went to the opposite field on an elevated 94 mph fastball off Mets lefty Steven Matz,” Frisaro wrote."

Now, the Marlins must wait for Peter O’Brien to put it all together. If he can find his comfort zone and hit for average and power, the team could have a 30-home run hitter. He struggled at the start of the Grapefruit League. In his first nine Grapefruit League games, he went 2-for-23 (.087) with 14 strikeouts.

He has shown signs of hitting the ball better the past few games, which could mean he has found a groove. It’s something that has not affected him so far.

"“I’m not necessarily concerned with the results over 20 or 30 at-bats,” O’Brien said. “I’m more concerned with the results over 100 at-bats over a 162-game season.”"

O’Brien’s versatility will serve him well if he makes the Marlins 25-man roster. His ability to play both in the outfield and at first base should mean he gets more plate appearances. That should mean more chances to launch balls out of the park.

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