Florida Marlins: All Time Greatest Players, Part 1 of 10
The Florida Marlins have been around for 19 seasons, and in two postseason appearances have taken home two World Series titles.
On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a Miami-based franchise to Wayne Huizenga.
After four sub-.500 seasons, the Marlins advanced to the postseason for the first time in 1997, as the NL wild card. They took care of the NL West by beating the San Fransisco Giants and the NL East by beating the Atlanta Braves, before dispatching the Cleveland Indians in seven games to take home their first World Series Championship.
This was followed by a fire sale, with Huizenga unloading all of his high priced talent. The Marlins posted losing records in each of the next five seasons.
In 2003, the Marlins returned to the postseason for the second time, again as the NL wild card. They again beat the San Fransisco Giants in the NLDS. The Chicago Cubs were five outs away from a World Series berth when the Marlins came back to win games six and seven. The Marlins put away the New York Yankees in six games, again winning the World Series.
In the eight seasons since, the Marlins have posted four winning records and four losing records, failing to return to the postseason.
As the Marlins prepare to be rechristened as the Miami Marlins, and move into their new home at Miami Ballpark, lets take a look back at the players who have stood out for the team. Of the 406 players who have laced up their cleats for the Marlins, these fifty stand out.
This list was compiled from data culled from www.baseball-reference.com, namely the "Wins Above Replacement" statistic.
50. Todd Jones (2005, WAR: 2.8)
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The Houston Astros selected Jones in the first round of the 1989 draft. He also played for the Detroit Tigers, the Minnesota Twins, the Colorado Rockies, the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Marlins for one season in 2005.
In 68 games, Jones posted 40 saves for the Marlins, good for fourth in the National League. His ERA was 2.10 and he also posted a 1.027 WHIP. He also holds the Marlins record for consecutive saves converted, with 27.
Jones went back to the Detroit Tigers for three seasons to close out his career. He is also a member of the 300 save club, with 319 on his career.
49. Chris Volstad (2008-Present, WAR: 2.9)
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Volstad was selected by Florida in the first round of the 2005 draft. He made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2008, posting a 2.88 ERA to go along with a 6-4 record.
He has been a mainstay in the Marlins rotation ever since, starting 88 games over the last three seasons.
The right-hander has a composite 32-39 record with a 4.59 ERA. In 103 games played, Volstad has walked 204 and struck out 378.
48. Chris Coghlan (2009-Present, WAR: 3.0)
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Coghlan was chosen by the Marlins in the first round of the 2006 draft out of the University of Mississippi.
He made his first Major League appearance in 2009, when he hit .321 with 46 multi-base hits and 47 RBIs on the season. He holds the Marlins record for consecutive multi-hit games, with eight.
After the All-Star break, Coghlan hit .372, leading all Major League players. He was awarded the NL Rookie of the Year for his performance.
In three seasons with the Fish, Coghlan has hit .283 with 19 home runs and 97 RBIs.
47. Quilvio Veras (1995-1996, WAR: 3.1)
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Veras was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets in 1989. He made his Major League debut with the Marlins in 1995.
In his rookie season, Veras led the big leagues with 56 stolen bases. He hit .261 in 124 games and finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Veras later played for the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves. He finished his Marlins career with a .258 average and 64 stolen bases. He also walked 131 times against 110 strikeouts, resulting in an OBP of .383 for the Fish.
He is currently a roving coach for the Kansas City Royals.
46. Antonio Alfonseca (1997-2001, 2005, WAR: 3.1)
Alfonseca signed an amateur free agent contract with the Montreal Expos in 1989. He would not make his first Major League appearance until 1997, for Florida.
Affectionately known as "The Octopus," Alfonseca has an extra digit on each hand and foot. The right handed pitcher was used exclusively as a reliever with the Marlins, and was their primary closer from 1999 through 2001.
He later played for the Chicago Cubs, the Atlanta Braves, the Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies.
He is second on the Marlin's all-time save list, with 102. He compiled a 19-25 record with a 3.86 ERA for Florida in 307 games.
Check back tomorrow for rankings through number 41.