Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes is counting down the top 100 Marlins of all-time. For comparison’s sake, we are using the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric as a measuring device. The top 100 WAR ratings are being featured. Today’s Marlin, Alfredo Becerra Amezaga, earned 3.7 while with the Marlins.
Amezaga was born in Sonora, Mexico on January 16th, 1978. A 5’11”, 165 lb. shortstop/third baseman/second baseman/centerfielder/leftfielder/first baseman/rightfielder by trade, he was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft, with the 401st overall pick. With the 402nd pick, the St. Louis Cardinals chose Albert Pujols. Yeah, I know, it’s ok.
Amezaga got up to baseball’s top level with the Angels in 2002, and went seven-for-13 in 12 games as a late-inning defensive replacement at shortstop. 2003 would see him play in 37 games for Anaheim and hit a more subdued .210 with two homers and seven RBI. He hit just .161/.212/.247/.459 for them in 2004, appearing in 73 games at second, third and short. After the season, the Colorado Rockies picked him off the waiver wire after the winter meetings.
In 2005, Amezaga appeared in a total of five major league games, two with the Rockies (one-for-three) and three with the Pittsburgh Pirates (one-for-three). After the season, he joined the Marlins through free agency.
Amezaga ranked seventh on the Marlins in 2006 with 132 appearances, and he slashed a .260/.332/.332/.664 statline, with nine doubles, three triples, three homers, 19 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He collected multiple hits in 23 of his 82 starts through the year, and got playing time at every position except pitcher and catcher.
On June 3rd, in a 13-0 sandblasting of the Rockies, he drew a walk in the second, smacked a three-run shot in the fourth, added an RBI groundout in the eighth, and singled and scored in the ninth. On July 18th, Amezaga hit a one-out single and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 lead over the Washington Nationals. He added a leadoff bunt single in in the ninth, but the Marlins ultimately lost by a 7-6 final count. Amezaga hit two doubles on August 4th as the Marlins dropped a 6-2 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2007, Amezaga played in a team-fifth 133 games, and hit .263/.324/.358/.682 with 14 doubles, a team-leading nine triples, two homers, 30 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. He had multiple hits in 26 of his 92 starts, and again got playing time at seven positions.
On July 13th, Amezaga walked in the third, hit a three-run homer in the fourth, added an RBI-single in the fifth, and hit another single in the seventh, but Florida lost in a wild 14-10 slugfest against the Nats.
2008 would see Amezaga play in 125 games, and hit .264/.312/.367/.679 with 13 doubles, five triples, three home runs, a career-high 32 RBI and eight stolen bases. He had more than one hit in 19 of his 67 starts.
On May 28th, Amezaga hit a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the 12th against New York, only to see Fernando Tatis hit a walk-off two-run double in the bottom half of the frame in a 7-6 loss to the Mets. On July 2nd, he changed a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 lead against the Nationals, clubbing a two-run shot to left field in an eventual 4-2 victory over Washington. On September 17th, Amezaga hit an RBI-single in the first, a single in the fifth, and a three-run double in the sixth inning of a 14-2 destruction of the Houston Astros. Two days later, in a 14-8 win against the Philadelphia Phillies, Amezaga hit the eventual game winner, a three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth which gave the Marlins an insurmountable 11-6 lead. The next day, he went three-for-three, drew a walk, scored a run, and stole two bases in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia.
In 2009, Amezaga hit .217/.267/.261/.528 in 27 contests, going 15-for-69 with three doubles and five RBI at the major league level, but he didn’t really make much of a dent after that. After a season in the minor leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2010, he came back with the Colorado Rockies for part of 2011, and they traded him back to the Marlins for Jesus Merchan in mid-August.
Always a fan favorite, Amezaga was welcomed back to the Marlins with loving arms, but only hit .136 down the stretch for the Fish. He collected two RBI in 20 games for the team, getting a handful of starts at second base. It would be his last major league action, although he still plays in the Mexican League with Quintana Roo for most of the last four seasons, hitting .259/.338/.328/.666 in 75 contests for them in 2016.