Florida Marlins: All Time Greatest Players, Part Five of Ten
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.
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 Francisco 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 then 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 using data from www.baseball-reference.com, namely the "Wins Above Replacement" statistic.
30. Ricky Nolasco (2006-Present, WAR: 4.3)
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Nolasco was chosen in the fourth round of the 2001 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. He was traded to the Marlins prior to the 2006 season.
His Major League career to this point has been exclusively with Florida.
2008 was Nolasco's best season to date. His 15 wins were a career best, as well as 212.1 innings pitched, his 3.52 ERA and his 1.102 WHIP.
In six Florida seasons, Nolasco has started 148 games, going 64-51 with a 4.50 ERA and 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He is signed through 2013.
29. Preston Wilson (1998-2002, WAR: 4.7)
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Wilson was selected in the first round of the 1992 draft by the New York Mets. A center fielder, Wilson is the stepson of former major leaguer Mookie Wilson. He made his debut with the club in 1998, playing in eight games for the team before he was traded to the Marlins.
In his official rookie season of 1999, Wilson finished second in the voting for NL Rookie of the Year by finishing with a .280 average along with 26 home runs and 71 RBIs.
In 2000, Wilson joined the 30/30 club by banging out 31 home runs and swiping 36 bases. He also had 121 RBIs.
In four and a half seasons with the Marlins, Wilson hit .262 with 104 home runs and 329 RBIs and 87 stolen bases.
28. Pat Rapp (1993-1997, WAR: 4.7)
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Rapp was selected out of the University of Southern Mississippi by the San Francisco Giants in the 15th round of the 1989 amateur draft. He made his Major League debut with the club in 1992, posting an 0-2 record.
Left unprotected in the 1992 expansion draft, Rapp went to the Marlins with the 10th pick. Over five seasons with the Fish, Rapp started 115 of 117 games. 1995 was Rapp's best season with the Marlins, as he posted a career best (and NL fifth best) 14 wins against seven losses. He also posted a career best in ERA, with 3.44.
Over five seasons with Florida, Rapp collected a 37-43 record with a 4.18 ERA.
27. Chris Hammond (1993-1996, 1998, WAR: 4.7)
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Hammond, a left-handed pitcher, was drafted out of UAB in the sixth round of the 1986 draft by the Cincinnati Reds, making his first appearance in 1990. He compiled a 14-19 record over parts of three seasons, and was traded to the Marlins just prior to their inaugural season in 1993.
Hammond posted an 11-12 record with the Marlins that first year with a 4.66 ERA in 191 innings. He also hit two home runs in 63 at bats.
Followed by an injury and strike shortened 1994, Hammond rebounded a bit in 1995, compiling a 3.80 ERA to go with a 9-6 win loss record over 25 games.
Hammond later played for the Boston Red Sox for one season before rejoining the Marlins for the 1998 season. He retired following the season and was out of the Major Leagues for four years, coming back in 2002 to play one season each with the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees, the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres. He would rejoin the Reds for the 2006 season.
For Florida, Hammond won 29 games against 32 losses to go with his 4.52 ERA.
26. Mike Redmond (1998-2004, WAR: 5.1)
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Redmond, a catcher, signed on with the Marlins as a free agent in 1992. He would earn playing time with the club onwards from 1998.
In four of his seven seasons with the Marlins, Redmond was the Marlins primary catcher. In 1999 and 2002, he finished in the NL top five with a 42 per cent caught stealing against percentage.
Redmond hit .284 over 485 games with the Marlins. He also played five seasons with the Minnesota Twins before finishing his playing career in 2010 with the Cleveland Indians.
He is currently the manager for the Lansing Lugnuts, a single-A ball team in the Midwest League, and an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Check back tomorrow for part six of the 50 best all-time Florida Marlins.