Florida Marlins: All-Time Greatest Players, Part 7 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 6 and 7. 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.
20. Kevin Millar (1998-2002, WAR: 7.4)
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Millar signed a free agent contract with the Marlins in 1997, and made his first appearance with the team in 1998.
Millar played at first, third, left and right as needed. 2001 was Millar's best season with the Marlins. He hit .314 with 20 home runs and 85 RBI.
Over his five seasons, Millar totalled 59 home runs and 251 RBI in 500 games, hitting .296.
He is currently an analyst with NESN and the MLB network.
19. Carl Pavano (2002-2004, WAR: 7.6)
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Pavano was selected in the 13th round of the 1994 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He started his Major League career with the Montreal Expos in 1998, with whom he spent his first four-and-a-half seasons. He was traded to the Marlins in the middle of the 2002 season, and posted a 3-2 record in 22 games.
Over the next two seasons, Pavano was a regular part of the Marlins rotation, making 63 starts (out of 64 total appearances).
In 2004, Pavano posted an 18-8 record, his win total good for second best in the NL. His ERA of 3.00 and his 1.174 WHIP were also amongst the NL top 10. He was selected to his first (and thus far only) All-Star appearance for his performance.
In total, Pavano collected 33 wins against 23 losses with a 3.64 ERA.
Starting in 2005, Pavano has played for the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians. He is currently in his second season with the Minnesota Twins.
18. Alex Fernandez (1997-1999, WAR: 8.0)
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The Chicago White Sox chose Fernandez with the fourth pick in the first round of the 1990 draft out of the University of Miami. He compiled a 79-63 record for the White Sox over his six seasons in Chicago.
Fernandez joined Florida in 1997 as a free agent. In his first season with the club he posted a 17-12 record in helping the Marlins to their first World Series title. He had a 3.59 ERA and a 1.187 WHIP, allowing fewer than eight hits per nine innings.
In three seasons total, Fernandez was 28-24 with a 3.59 ERA. He retired in 2001 due to shoulder problems caused during the Marlins championship season.
He is currently a radio broadcaster, and is active in local politics in Miami Beach.
17. Mike Stanton (2010-Present, WAR: 8.4)
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Florida chose Stanton with their second round pick of the 2007 draft. He first appeared with the club in 2010, hitting 22 home runs in 100 games before his 21st birthday.
2011 was Stanton's first full season with Florida. He hit an NL fifth best of 34 home runs along with 87 RBI. He still has to learn a little patience at the plate, as he struck out 166 times, the third highest total in the NL.
Stanton was selected as the Florida Marlins Most Valuable Player in 2011. Hopefully, he will remain in right field for Florida for a few more awards.
16. Anibal Sanchez (2006-Present, WAR: 8.8)
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Sanchez started his professional career by signing a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2001. He arrived in Florida after the 2005 season without having appeared with the parent club.
To date, Sanchez has spent his entire six season Major League career with Florida. In his 2006, he made his Major League debut and posted a 10-3 record with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP, finishing ninth in the year-end voting for NL Rookie of the Year.
From 2007 through 2009, Sanchez started a total of 32 games, collecting eight wins against 14 losses and a 4.56 ERA. His WHIP was an albatross-like 1.628.
In 2010 and 2011, Sanchez was a regular part of the Marlin's rotation, starting 64 games for the club and compiling a 21-21 record. Sanchez placed sixth in the NL with 202 strikeouts in 2011.