Marlins' hitters eager to learn from Bonds

'He's immensely talented,' Yelich says of new hitting coach

Marlins' hitters eager to learn from Bonds

MIAMI -- As kids, they watched in awe as Barry Bonds put up huge numbers. In a week, the Marlins' players will begin picking up pointers from the former Pirates and Giants slugger.

The hiring of Bonds as hitting coach was one of Miami's biggest offseason stories. And like the rest of the baseball world, the players are intrigued.

"He's one of the best hitters of all time," left fielder Christian Yelich said. "You don't want to say he perfected the craft. But he came probably as close as you can to perfecting hitting. He knows a lot. He has a ton of knowledge. It's going to be nice to learn from somebody like that."

Outlook: Yelich, LF, MIA

Yelich, All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich were at Marlins Park on Monday night taking part in Miami's "Play Ball" caravan week.

Spring Training begins on Friday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla., and full-squad workouts are set for Feb. 23.

Spring Training: Prospects to watch | Newcomers | Schedule

That will be the first day Bonds will be on the field with his new team.

"He can't hit for any of us, obviously," said Yelich, who batted .300 last year. "His talent is what it is. He's immensely talented. He's going to help with approach, and pitcher tendencies, and stuff like that."

The entire organization is curious to see how an all-time great handles his first full-time coaching assignment.

In 2015, the Marlins ranked second to last in runs (613) and home runs (120), and they were last in walks (375). Bonds is MLB's all-time leader in drawing walks.

"It's hard to quantify [his impact] because you're talking about one of the greatest hitters of all time," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "And the insight. Just talking hitting with him. It's an unbelievable baseball-hitting mind. And he sees stuff that ordinary hitters don't see."

Gordon, the reigning National League batting champion with a .333 average, is intrigued by what Bonds will do working with three-time All-Star right fielder, Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton, 26, is the Miami's all-time home run leader with 181.

"I think for our best player, who is Giancarlo, I think [Bonds] is going to help him reach his full potential, if he hasn't reached it already," Gordon said. "To show him how to become an even better superstar, and how to handle the super-stardom. Barry, he's been through everything."

Outlook: Stanton, RF, MIA

Dietrich, a left-handed hitter who belted 10 home runs in 2015, feels he will benefit from the fact Bonds also hits from the left side.

"I remember watching him play, and watching him break the records and everything," Dietrich said. "You can't help but be excited. Just to be able to talk to him, and soak up the knowledge, and say, 'Hey, he's going to be my coach, and be able to provide that insight and knowledge.'"

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.