A Marlins win against the Dodgers on Sept. 6 showed the potential of 24-year-old second baseman Xavier Edwards.
In the fourth inning, Edwards pulled a drive that would have gone for extra bases had Jason Heyward not made a leaping catch at the wall. One inning later, Edwards flashed his considerable speed, scoring from second on an infield single.
Edwards earned his first MLB callup after an impressive season with Triple-A Jacksonville. He hit .351/.429/.457 with seven home runs and 32 stolen bases in 93 games. He ranked second in the overall minor league batting race.
“He takes really good at-bats,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker told the media after Edwards was called up on Sept. 1. “He’s a tough out because he doesn’t chase.”
The switch-hitting Edwards played four positions at Triple-A this year: second base, center field, third base and shortstop. The first two are his MLB priority.
“He’s doing a lot for us, playing multiple positions,” Schumaker said. “He hits righties. He hits lefties. He’s just a winning player, and that’s the best thing to say about him.”
Edwards stands 5-foot-10, 175 pounds and prides himself on his versatility.
“I love playing defense,” Edwards said. “Being able to bounce around to different spots gives me a chance to play.”
Edwards, who grew up less than an hour away from Miami in Coconut Creek, Fla., was the 38th pick in the 2018 draft. He was traded twice in three years, going from the Padres to the Rays to, finally, the Marlins following the 2022 season.
After a disappointing 2022 in which he hit .246 and stole just seven bases in 93 games for the Rays’ Triple-A Durham affiliate, Edwards stopped swinging for the fences and restarted his speed game.
“I got away from my approach last year,” Edwards said. “I worked hard to return to being that exciting player to watch.
“That’s kind of been my mantra this year—whether it’s (in the majors) or in Triple-A. I’m just trying to do what I know I can do.”