Emilio Bonifacio: Rising Star

Jerry FrasierContributor IApril 18, 2009

MIAMI - APRIL 06:  Third baseman Emilio Bonifacio #1 of the Florida Marlins plays third base while taking on the Washington Nationals on opening day at Dolphin Stadium on April 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Nationals 12-5.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

In this short Major League Baseball season the Marlins' switch-hitting infielder Emilio Bonifacio has emerged as a hidden gem. Bonafacio is currently batting .378, has one HR, five RBI, 12 runs, and leads the National League with four SB.

Bonifacio was part of two trades before finally settling in with the Marlins this season. Last year he was traded to the Nationals for Jon Rauch, and then Bonifacio was traded to the Marlins for Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen. Now Bonifacio seems to be settling in to the lead-off spot for the Marlins quite well.

Bonifacio showed that he could be a star in this league on Opening Day. He became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1968 to hit an inside the park home run on Opening Day.

Since the Marlins acquired Bonifacio they have been able to bat shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the three hole where he belongs instead of the lead-off spot. Bonifacio is helping the team by scoring runs, and he is doing it quite well, already scoring 12 in 11 games. Both he and the Marlins hope he continues to put up these stats and continues to be a rising star in the MLB this season.