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, Moises Alou, earned 3.5 total WAR while with the team.
Alou was a true blue baseball pedigree. The son of Felipe Alou, nephew of Jesus and Matty Alou, and a cousing to Mel Rojas and Jose Sosa, Moises didn’t have a lot of trouble catching the eye of major league scouts. Moises was born on July 3rd, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia, and was eventually drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the second overall pick of the 1986 January amateur draft, right behind Jeff Shaw and a round ahead of Curt Schilling.
After most of five seasons in Pittsburgh’s minor league system, Alou finally made his major league debut with the Pirates on July 26th. He ended up going one-for-five over two games for the Bucs, but they went ahead and sent him on to the Montreal Expos as a PTBNL with Willie Greene and Scott Ruskin for Zane Smith.
Alou played for seven teams in his major league career, but didn’t play in as many games with anyone as he did with the Expos. In 608 games over six seasons, he hit .292/.349/.489/.838 with 84 home runs, 53 RBI, and 373 RBI, making the 1994 all-star team. Granted free agency on December 7th, Alou signed on with the Marlins five days later.
Alou was one of four Florida players to play in 150 or more contests with the 1997 Marlins, playing in exactly that amount. He slashed .292/.373/.493/.866, leading the Marlins in slugging and in OPS. He also led the club with 23 homers and an NL ninth 115 RBI, stealing nine bases and scoring a team-second 88 runs. He made the all-star team for the second time and finished 10th in the NL MVP vote. The Marlins, who were 92-70 overall, went 9-3 when Alou didn’t play. He had 42 multi-hit games out of his 145 total starts, including 14 games with three or more hits collected.
On June 15th, in the first game of a doubleheader with the New York Yankees, Alou hit two doubles and knocked in three runs in an 8-5 loss. On July 29th, in a 7-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Alou went deep twice with three RBI. It was his second two-homer game in the past three days. On August 5th, Alou collected two hits, including a walk-off two-RBI-single to defeat the Houston Astros, 6-5. The win helped Florida in the pennant race:
I saw it. I tried not to pay too much attention to it. We still have to win our games, but that did pump us up a little bit. - Alou
The next day, the Marlins defeated the Pirates by a 12-3 final. Alou hit a two-RBI single in the first, an RBI-double in the second, singled and scored in the third, then added a solo home run in the fifth to make the score 11-0, Marlins.
Hitting with nobody on base is boring. - Alou
Alou hit three singles and a double on August 15th, collecting one RBI in a 6-5 Marlins win over Pittsburgh.
As soon as you get on the field and start stretching, you just know you’re going to win a ball game. That’s what I’m feeling right now. I hope my teammates are feeling the same thing. - Alou
On August 17th, Alou hit a two-run single and a three-run homer in a 10-2 win against the Pirates.
Alou went 13-for-57 over 15 postseason games for the Marlins for the three weeks after the regular season came to a close, helping Florida to their first world series title. He was best in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, when he went nine-for-28 with three homers and nine RBI over the seven game series.
The Marlins traded Alou along for Manuel Barrios, Oscar Henriquez, and a PTBNL (Mark Johnson) after the season, along with most of the team. Alou played for 10 more seasons, with the Houston Astros (three years, 421 games, .331/.403/.585/.988, 95 home runs, 346 RBI), the Chicago Cubs (three years, 438 games, .283/.353/.484/.837 76 home runs, 258 RBI), the San Francisco Giants (two years, 221 games, .312/.379/.541/.920, 41 home runs, 137 RBI) and the New York Mets (two years, 102 games, .342/.391/.507/.898, 13 home runs, 58 RBI).