Miami Marlins All-Time 26-Man Rosterby Carter LaCorte January 10, 2022 1 comment
Winning two World Series without a division title in your history seems impossible. But the Florida Marlins made it a reality. Of course, they are now the Miami Marlins, a team that has had their fair share of struggles. They blew up the team after both championships, which means that plenty of extraordinary players made their way through town. The 1997 and 2003 teams will be well represented here. While the Marlins do not have a star-studded all-time team, they do have some sort of balance. Still, the offensive side is where they shine.
Make sure to check out all of our other All-Time Rosters.
J.T. Realmuto, Catcher
The catching position came down to two players, the other of which made the bench. Selected in the third round in 2010, when the team still went by Florida, Realmuto debuted in 2014 and gradually improved. 2016 was that first big breakout season, as he hit .303 with 11 home runs, 12 stolen bases, and a 111 OPS+.
For a catcher, Realmuto is unusually quick. His 31 swiped bags as a Marlin are double the amount of the next highest backstop. Realmuto’s best season in a Marlins uniform was his last, in 2018. He hit 21 home runs with a career-best 126 OPS+, capturing his first of currently two Silver Slugger awards.
In the offseason that followed, he was dealt to Philadelphia for a package including Jorge Alfaro, his replacement for the last few seasons, and Sixto Sanchez, who figures to be a huge part of Miami’s future. With the Phillies, Realmuto has established himself as one of the league’s best catchers.
Derrek Lee, First Baseman
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound beast was a product of a trade with San Diego that saw the Marlins give up a pitcher that will be featured later on this team. The early returns with Lee were mediocre before he broke out in 2000. He slugged out 28 home runs with a .368 OBP, and a .875 OPS. From 2000 to 2003, Lee hit 107 bombs with 44 stolen bases and an OPS of .863.
Lee’s .888 OPS and Gold Glove defense helped the Marlins win their second title in 2003, although he struggled in the postseason. In classic Miami fashion, he was dealt soon after. The Cubs did not give up a ton to acquire Lee, who would become an MVP finalist for them within two seasons.
Luis Castillo, Second Baseman
The name Luis Castillo is now recognized more for the pitcher on the Reds, or this Castillo’s infamous drop while with the Mets.
Despite what this video suggests, Castillo was an amazing defender. He won three Gold Gloves in his career, all with Florida. He was also a stolen base demon, leading the league in 2000 and 2002, plus a 50-steal season in 1999. Castillo was also a contact threat, with a .293 average over his Marlins career. His 281 SBs and 1273 hits are both the most in franchise history.
Castillo is also as original of a Marlin as it gets. He signed as an international free agent in 1992 before the team ever played a game. He debuted at age 20 in 1996 and was a part of both championship teams (he played a much bigger role in 2003). His 22.4 bWAR is the third in franchise history among position players.
Hanley Ramirez, Shortstop
One of the two players with more bWAR than Castillo is Ramirez, who is in second place with 26.9. The offensive difference between Ramirez and the other Marlins shortstops is astonishing. No other SS who played at least 200 games, and 70% of their games at short had an OPS over .700. Ramirez finished at .873.
Ramirez came to Florida from Boston as a rookie in a deal that includes three other members of this team. He endeared himself to the team immediately, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2006, hitting 17 home runs with 51 stolen bases. Over the next three seasons, Ramirez hit 86 homers with 113 steals, a .325 average, and a .947 OPS. He would make his third all-star team in 2010 but soon declined. In 2012, the team’s first year going under the name Miami, he was traded to the Dodgers for two players, most strikingly Nathan Eovaldi.
Miguel Cabrera, Third Baseman
Miggy was mainly a corner outfielder with some third base experience as he broke into the league but transitioned to a full-time third baseman a few seasons in. He was a young 20-year-old when he helped the Marlins win their second title in 2003. He would mold into a superstar, making the all-star team in each of the next four seasons. Those four years consisted of 126 home runs, a .396 OBP, a .947 OPS, two Silver Sluggers, and two top-five MVP finishes.
Five years into his career and still very young, the Marlins saw an opportunity to get a fortune. He was of course traded to Detroit for six players. Cabrera won two MVPs with the Tigers and is on his way to Cooperstown.
Cliff Floyd, Left Fielder
The first-round pick of the Expos in 1991 had a below-average start to his career. The Marlins looked to capitalize on his potential, sending Dustin Hermanson and Joe Orsulak to Montreal for the 6-5 outfielder. The investment came to work out very well, as Floyd quickly broke out. He hit 22 homers with 27 stolen bases in 1998. In 2000, he reached the .900 OPS mark. 2001 was by far his best season, hitting 31 home runs with a .317 average and a .968 OPS, making his only all-star team of his career.
Floyd started his 2002 season strong, hitting 18 home runs with a .952 OPS in 84 games. Montreal came crawling back to Floyd, as they sent a package headlined by future Marlins ace Carl Pavano only to flip Floyd to the Red Sox weeks later. His Marlins tenure ended with a .898 OPS and a 135 OPS+.
Marcell Ozuna, Center Fielder
The mid-2010s Marlins had such an amazing outfield. All three of those players are recognized on this team. Ozuna was always the third wheel of the bunch but is elevated to the starting role thanks to a weak center pool. He hit 23 home runs in both 2014 and 2016, although his OPS was not extraordinary. However, Ozuna completely broke out in 2017, playing himself out of Miami.
Ozuna slugged out 37 home runs with 124 RBIs, a .312 average, and a .924 OPS. Ozuna won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger while receiving MVP votes. The Marlins sold high, getting both Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen from St. Louis. That trade worked out, even though Ozuna continued to have success, as Alcantara has become the team’s ace.
Giancarlo Stanton, Right Fielder
Stanton is the best player in franchise history. He started his career under the name Mike Stanton. He quickly became one of the league’s best sluggers, hitting over 30 home runs five times during his tenure. The exclamation point was of course 2017 when he hit 59 home runs with a 1.007 OPS, capturing the NL MVP award.
Stanton’s Marlins totals amount to 267 homers with a .914 OPS over 986 games. Stanton also signed the most expensive contract in baseball history at the time, which also killed his chances of staying in Miami. For three players and mostly cash relief, Stanton changed to pinstripes.
Gary Sheffield, Designated Hitter
Sheffield always had to play the field, but DH would have been well-suited for him. In a mutually-beneficial deal, Trevor Hoffman was traded to San Diego for Sheffield in 1993. Injuries set him back early in his Florida career, but Sheffield was healthy and spectacular in 1996. He slugged out 42 home runs with a 1.090 OPS, finishing sixth in MVP voting. Two years later, after more dominant play, Sheffield was part of the bounty for Mike Piazza. He finished his Marlins career with a .970 OPS.
Dontrelle Willis, LHP
Willis became a Marlin via trade before he ever played in a major league game, coming over from the Cubs for Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca. His 2003 rookie season was electric, as Willis posted a 3.30 ERA in 27 starts, winning the honor of National League Rookie of the Year.
Willis’ 2005 was by far his best season, with a 2.63 ERA, a 2.99 FIP, and 170 strikeouts. It led to a second-place finish in Cy Young voting. Willis would, unfortunately, fall off the face of the Earth soon after that season. He had a 5.17 ERA in 2007, then was included in the Cabrera trade. He never did much again in the majors.
Jose Fernandez, RHP
:(. This is sad. Fernandez was amazing and well on his way to being the best pitcher in team history. He won Rookie of the Year in 2013 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts. He had Tommy John surgery the next year but came back as good as ever. Fernandez had a 2.86 ERA in 2016 when he tragically passed away in a boating accident. His career ERA was 2.58 with 589 strikeouts in 471.1 innings.
Josh Johnson, RHP
Johnson, a 2002 4th round pick by Florida, is probably the most underrated player on this team. He was nearly a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2006, with a 3.10 ERA in 157 innings. Johnson made his first all-star team in 2009, then again in 2010, when he won the ERA title. That season, he had a 2.30 ERA with a 2.41 FIP, finishing fifth in Cy Young voting. He was second on the team in innings pitched during their first season under the Miami name. He was traded with Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes in the massive deal with Toronto the next season, but would only pitch in one more big-league season.
Kevin Brown, RHP
Brown and his 67.8 career bWAR may get him into Cooperstown one day. After a decade with Texas and Baltimore, Brown signed a deal with the Marlins. His tenure was great, albeit packed into two seasons.
In 1996, he finished second in Cy Young voting, with a league-best 1.89 ERA and a 0.944 WHIP. He lost out on the award to John Smoltz. In 1997, Brown led the Marlins to their first World Series championship, which is good enough for a spot on this team. A 2.69 ERA and 205 strikeouts didn’t hurt, either. He would soon be traded to San Diego for Derrek Lee.
Josh Beckett, RHP
The Marlins selected Beckett second overall in 1999. He soon lived up to the hype, as in 2003 he had a 3.04 ERA and 152 Ks in 142 innings. He spent five total seasons with the team, posting a 3.46 ERA with a 9.0 K/9. Beckett was traded to Boston in a monster deal that brought Hanley Ramirez to Florida.
AJ Ramos, RHP, Closer
The relief pool is pretty thin here, which makes sense considering the state of relief pitching until recently. Ramos was a very solid closer for the Marlins and is one of a few candidates to close games for this team. He took on the role in 2015 when he saved 32 games with a 2.30 ERA and 87 strikeouts. Ramos would be the closer until 2017, the year when he was traded to the Mets.
Over six seasons, Ramos struck out 379 with 92 saves and a 2.78 ERA. What always haunted him was a 4.8 BB/9 rate, which tanked his career once he left the Marlins.
Robb Nen, RHP
The Marlins got a steal when they traded Cris Carpenter to Texas for Nen in 1993. Nen would quickly become an elite closer for the team as soon as 1994. He saved 108 games for the team, a club record. His ERA was 3.41, capped off by a 1.95 ERA in 1996. He had 328 strikeouts in 314 innings but was traded to San Francisco, where he elevated his game, after 1997.
Steve Cishek, RHP
The submarining Cishek has made his way around the majors, already having played for seven teams. That journey started in Florida when Cishek had a 2.63 ERA in 2011. He was promoted to the closer role the next season and would save 94 games for the team before losing the role in 2015. A rough start to that season led to a change of scenery. He became a Cardinal, with the Marlins notably acquiring…
Kyle Barraclough, RHP
The Marlins very clearly won the Barraclough-Cishek trade. In 2016, the nasty Barraclough had 113 strikeouts with a 2.85 ERA. He never reached that height again but was still very solid. Over four seasons, Barraclough had a 3.21 ERA with 279 strikeouts in just under 220 innings. Aside from a short stint in 2018, he was never actually a closer. However, he is one of the best set-up men in Marlins history.
Armando Benitez, RHP
Although his first stint with the team was only for a season, Benitez made his mark on the Marlins. He was signed the season after a championship and posted a 1.29 ERA with a league-leading 47 saves in 69.2 innings pitched. Benitez not only made the all-star team but even got an MVP vote for his efforts. He would have another stint with the team in 2007. However, he had a 5.73 ERA and was mostly forgettable.
A.J. Burnett, RHP
With some struggles at relief, two starters will have to be enlisted for the Marlins. Burnett came over from the Mets for Al Leiter in 1998 and would become an integral part of the Marlins, although never for a championship team as he missed most of 2003. Burnett would spend seven seasons in Florida. While he was never an elite pitcher, he was dependable. He had a 3.73 ERA with a 3.71 FIP in 853.2 innings. He then signed with the Blue Jays and won a World Series with the Yankees.
Anibal Sanchez, RHP
Sanchez was not very dynamic but he has the fourth-most pitching WAR in franchise history. Before he won an ERA title with Detroit, Sanchez spent parts of seven seasons as a Marlin. He pitched nearly 800 innings with a 3.75 ERA. Just like Burnett, Sanchez’s reliability would help this team as a long man.
Charles Johnson, Catcher
Fun fact: Johnson was once traded for Benitez, but the deal did not include the Marlins at all. Much before that, Johnson was a steady defensive catcher and the first draft pick in team history. He made his first all-star team in 1997, hitting 19 home runs with an OPS of .802. That season was his third of four consecutive Gold Glove seasons. He was a part of the Piazza trade early in 1998.
However, Johnson would return to Florida, signing in 2000. He made the all-star team again in 2001 before a trade to Colorado for…
Juan Pierre, Outfielder
Pierre is mostly on this team as a complete speed demon. Yes, Pierre was caught a lot. 61 times over three seasons. However, he also swiped 167 bags over that time frame, earning him some MVP votes on a championship team in 2003. The Marlins got three players from Chicago for Pierre in December of 2005. He returned at the end of his career to steal 23 bases in 2013.
Jeff Conine, First Base/Left Field
Conine did not have enough games played at first to beat out Lee and Floyd edged him out in left. So, the guy nicknamed “Mr. Marlin” goes on the bench. Picked from Kansas City in the expansion draft, Conine hit 98 home runs over the next five seasons, along with a .827 OPS. He made two all-star teams and of course, won a World Series. He was traded back to the Royals the next offseason. Conine would also be a part of the 2003 team. While he was not the hitter he used to be, a 37-year-old Conine was traded from Baltimore to Florida that season.
Mike Lowell, Third Baseman
Stolen from the Yankees before 1999, Lowell carved out a nice career. He was a power threat who could hit for average. He would make three all-star teams representing the Marlins and hit 143 homers for them. Lowell’s time in Florida ended when he was traded with Beckett to Boston after the 2005 season. Still, he managed to beat the team that drafted him in the World Series.
Dan Uggla, Second Baseman
Uggla’s high home run, high strikeout game was not as endorsed when he played it as it is today. The Rule-5 pick became one of the league’s best power-hitting second basemen, slugging out 154 homers over five seasons. He also had a .837 OPS. He was traded in 2010, becoming a member of the Braves. There, his career started to slip.
Ricky Nolasco, RHP
Christian Yelich, OF
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images