clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2014 Marlins Season Review: Bench and position player grades

The Marlins had a number of bench players play contributing roles, but none stood out as impressive overall for the team in 2014.

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Marlins had a lot of other players on their position player roster, all of whom contributed to the team's play in 2014. But while the bench contributed, it certainly did not do a great job for Miami, as the majority of its players had bad years backing up the team's primary starters.

Jeff Mathis

In 2014, Mathis was what he always was: a good defensive catcher and one of the worst hitters in baseball history. He once again put up a defensive season that was unquestionably better than that of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's, and depending on your sources, Mathis may have been a good deal better at framing pitches than Salty, but his overall contributions were still replacement-level. Mathis hit just .200/.263/.274 (.241 wOBA), which is right in line with his career numbers. He was as bad as advertised at the plate, striking out in nearly 33 percent of plate appearances and making no powerful contact (nine extra-base hits in 195 plate appearances). At this point, Mathis is who he is, and the Marlins will have to make a decision on whether that is enough to keep him around for another year.

Grade: D

Jeff Baker

Baker was signed to a two-year contract worth $3.7 million to be a backup at multiple positions and a platoon partner for Garrett Jones, who always struggled versus left-handed pitching. As a lefty masher, Baker did about as advertised. He hit .319/.362/.462 (.359 wOBA) in 130 plate appearances against lefty pitchers. When you account for park factors (Baker spent his career playing in Coors Field, Wrigley Field, and the Rangers' ballpark before Miami), that batting line exactly matched up with his career mark in wRC+. If that were his only job, he did it well.

Unfortunately, as is always the case, Baker also spent time hitting right-handed pitching, and that's where it all fell apart. He was worse this year versus righties than he was in his career overall, and tack on the fact that he spent most of his time playing first base in place of Jones and you get a bad defensive contributor as well. Overall, Baker put up a replacement-level season, though the year was not all that surprising.

Grade: C-

Reed Johnson

Miami took Reed Johnson, who was invited to Spring Training and not guaranteed a roster spot, over Brian Bogusevic, whom they acquired in the Justin Ruggiano trade, at the beginning of the season. The team almost started Johnson too often versus left-handed pitching in place of Christian Yelich earlier in the year as well. But eventually, like all teams, they realized Johnson did not deserve much playing time over the best outfield in baseball. But with Yelich's midseason injury, Johnson did end up picking up over 200 plate appearances, and he was not very good in them. He hit just .235/.266/.348 (.272 wOBA) as primarily a corner outfielder. Amazingly, he also spent almost not time walking; he walked just once in 201 plate appearances. The majority of his ability to get on base outside of hits came from being hit by eight pitches, which is right in line with his career full of bean balls.

Grade: D

Overall, the Marlins got a lot more production out of their position players this year than they did last season, but that was almost to be expected. Miami had better players all around and had a chance to be even better, but the infield failed to deliver for them this year. Here are the remaining grades for the Marlins' position players.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: C-
Garrett Jones: D
Rafael Furcal: F
Derek Dietrich: C
Jordany Valdespin: D+
Donovan Solano: D+
Ed Lucas: D-
Casey McGehee: B-
Adeiny Hechavarria: C-
Christian Yelich: A-
Marcell Ozuna: B+
Giancarlo Stanton: A