Top 50 Miami Marlins

Along with the Colorado Rockies, the Florida Marlins came into existence in 1993, although they have been far more successful than their expansion counterparts.

The Marlins won the Pennant in only their fourth year of existence, but surely, they could not beat the New York Yankees for the World Series!  Florida did precisely that, shocking the world, and then they surprised everyone by conducting a fire sale, dismantling the team, and starting from scratch.

Florida again built a good team in 2003 and once again befuddled the baseball world by winning their second World Series.  True to form, they repeated what they did after 1997 by cost-cutting and getting rid of the parts that won it for them.

Since that time, the Marlins changed their team name to the Miami Marlins but have remained to operate as a small market team.

This list is up to the end of the 2021 regular season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

The ninth player taken in the 1996 Baseball Amateur Draft, Mark Kotsay, appeared in 14 Games the year after, but he was not on the roster that won the 1997 World Series.  As the Marlins conducted a fire sale after the title, Kotsay was elevated to one of Florida’s starting Outfielders, and he held his own for the next three years. Kotsay batted over .270 in all three of his full campaigns as a Marlin, which was decent, but he did not draw enough walks and had only 31 Hone Runs in this stretch, a number that was low for his…
One of the most fascinating people to rank on a list of all-time Marlins is Livan Hernandez, the star of the 1997 Playoffs. Hernandez began his career with Florida, signed by the Marlins after the Cuban defected to the United States in 1995.  He appeared in one Game in 1996 and made it to the starting rotation during the 1997 season, finishing the year with a 9-3 Record and a 3.18 ERA.  Florida made the playoffs, and Hernandez was incredible, winning the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP, going 4-0 overall.  Hernandez struggled the year after and was traded to San Francisco…
Antonio Alfonseca is arguably the most unlikely single-season Saves leader in the modern era, but he still accomplished what many relievers never did. Alfonseca was in the Montreal Expos organization when he was chosen by the Florida Marlins in the Minor League Draft after the 1993 Season.  The Dominican Pitcher was called up during the 1997 Season, and he played a minor role in Florida’s World Series win.  Alfonseca played more for the Marlins in 1998, saving eight Games, and he had 21 as he moved into the closer’s role in 1999.   In 2000, Alfonseca closed out a league-leading 45 Games, but…
Usually, established veterans are traded from Miami and not to them, but the Marlins bucked that trend when they acquired Martin Prado after the 2014 Season. Playing at Third Base, Prado brought Miami leadership and a solid bat for his first two years as a Marlin.  Prado batted .288 and .305 in those years while still decent in the field.  Following the 2016 Season, Prado was constantly injured, reduced to only 91 Games combined in 2017 and 2018, and although he was healthier in 2019, Prado's skills deteriorated, and he retired the year after. With Miami, Prado batted .278 with 467 Hits.
Henderson Alvarez was one of the many players that the Miami Marlins acquired from Toronto in the 12-player transaction after the 2012 Season, and for a brief time, it looked like Alvarez was going to be the best player they netted. In his first year as a Marlin, a shoulder injury kept Alvarez to only 17 Starts, but he was decent with a 3.59 ERA over 102.2 Innings, which was bolstered by a no-hitter in the season finale.  Alvarez had his best season in Baseball in 2013 with a 12-7 Record with a 2.65 ERA.  The Venezuelan went to the All-Star Game…
Oft-injured with the Toronto Blue Jays, Al Leiter bolted from the Jays as a Free Agent in 1996 for the sunnier skies of Florida.  It was there where he was finally healthy and showed what he was capable of all along. Leiter posted a 16-12 Record with an ERA of 2.93 in his first Marlins year, and he was an All-Star for the first time in his career.  The year after, Leiter was not as good (11-9 4.324 ERA), but he was part of a rotation that took Florida all the way to the World Series, which they won by beating the…
A ten-year veteran in the Majors, Pat Rapp played half of that timeframe with the Florida Marlins. Rapp began his career with the San Francisco Giants, appearing in three Games in 1992 before the Marlins took him in the Expansion Draft.  He made the starting rotation, with his best year with Florida coming in 1995, when Rapp went 14-7 with a 3.44 ERA.  He was traded back to San Francisco during the 1997 Season, with Rapp going 37-43 with the Marlins.
A Bronze Medalist at the 1996 Olympics, Braden Looper was the third overall pick in that year’s draft, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals.  He made the Redbirds two years later, appearing in four Games, but that would close the book on his first St. Louis run, as Looper was traded to the Marlins in that off-season. Looper joined Florida's bullpen, where he would stay for five years.  While he was not the most consistent Pitcher, he would eventually be given a chance to be the team's closer, saving 28 Games in 2003 and 46 overall with 170 Games Finished as a…

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Josh Willingham did what few 17th Round Selection did by making it to the Majors.  Playing a combined 28 Games in 2004 and 2005, Willingham entered 2006 as the Marlins starting Leftfielder, and offensively he proved to be decent, although he never developed his skills defensively.  Willingham was ninth in Rookie of the Year voting, hitting 26 Home Runs with a .852 OPS, and had similar numbers the year after (21 HR, .827 OPS).  Willingham missed 50 Games to injury in 2008, costing him a third 20-HR year, but he would obtain that in 2009, albeit in a Washington Nationals uniform, as Florida…
Winning the starting Shortstop job as a rookie in 1996, Edgar Renteria was second in Rookie of the Year voting, losing to Los Angeles’s Todd Hollandsworth. Renteria, who batted .309 as a rookie, followed it with years of .277 and .282, and though he had no power, he was quick and stole a combined 73 Bases in 1997 1998.  An All-Star in 1998, Renteria was part of the 1997 World Series Championship team, scoring eight runs in the playoffs.  Renteria was traded to St. Louis after his third season, where he made three more All-Star Teams.  With Florida, Renteria batted .290 with…
Signed by the Seattle Mariners as an Amateur Free Agent in 2012, Venezuelan-born Pablo Lopez was traded as a minor league player to the Marlins in the summer of 2017. Lopez made the Marlins during the 2018 Season, and as of this writing, he has been in South Beach since.  Pitching in the starting rotation since his debut, Lopez has dealt with shoulder problems but has done enough (18-21, 315 SO, 1.197 WHIP) to make a top 50 list on an expansion club, especially considering that in 2021, he set the record with nine consecutive Strikeouts to start a game. The…
From Canada, Ryan Dempster was a product of the Texas Rangers organization before he was traded to Florida in 1996.  Two years later, the Pitcher received his call up. Dempster struggled in his first year (1-5, 7.08 ERA) and improved as a sophomore (7-8, 4.71 ERA), but he truly arrived in 2000, going to his first All-Star Game on a year where he went 14-10 and fanned a career-high 209 Strikeouts.  Although his ERA and WHIP went up in 2001, he had a 15-12 record.  With the knowledge that Dempster would be a Free Agent after 2003, Dempster was traded during the 2001…