Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes is recapping the Top 100 Marlins to ever appear with the franchise. Using the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric, all 523 players were considered, whether they played for the Florida or Miami version of the Marlins. Today’s Marlin, Edgar Enrique Renteria Herazo, earned a mark of 5.0 while with the team.
Renteria was a 6’1”, 200 lb. shortstop from Barranquilla, Atlantico, Columbia born on August 7th, 1976. As is the case with a lot of Latin American players, he went undrafted, instead catching on initially with the Marlins as a free agent signee in 1992.
Renteria made it to the Marlins’ big league roster in 1996, and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting for his eventual efforts. He hit .309/.358/.399/.757 over 106 games, with 31 RBI and 16 stolen bases (in 18 tries) as the second youngest player in the National League (Atlanta’s Andruw Jones was born eight months later). Despite his limited time, he earned a 1.6 defensive WAR from shortstop, good for ninth in the league, and his range factor was an NL second 4.78 at the position. Of his 5.0 WAR earned while a member of the team, 3.2 of it occured in this, his shortest season with the Marlins.
Renteria earned multiple hits in 38 of his 103 starts, including a dozen games with three or more hits. From July 25th through August 16th, he ran off a 22-game hit-streak, collecting a .366 average over 102 plate appearances.
On July 15th, Renteria went three-for-five with two singles and a home run, with three runs scored and two RBI in a 15-5 win against the Houston Astros. On August 25th, he walked and scored to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie a game with the Cincinnati Reds at five, then added a walkoff RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 victory. In a 12-inning affair on September 10th, he went four-for-seven with three singles, a solo home run, and two runs scored in a 9-3 victory against the New York Mets.
In 1997, Renteria appeared in 154 games for Florida, and hit .277/.327/.340/.668, with 52 RBI and an NL ninth 32 stolen bases. He ranked seventh in the NL with 617 at bats and sixth with 691 plate apearances, leading the senior circuit with 19 sacrifice hits. Defensively, he led the league with 242 putouts, ranked second with 153 defensive games at shortstop, ranked second wtih 95 double plays turned, and fifth with 415 assists. He earned multiple hits in 47 of his 149 starts, including 15 three-hit affairs.
On April 5th, Renteria hit a game-tying inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the ninth, then went on to smack a walkoff RBI-single in the 11th inning of a 4-3 win against the Reds. On May 7th, he singled in the first, hit a game-tying RBI single in the eighth, then drew a walk to load the bases, down by a run with two outs in the 10th inning, but the Marlins lost one batter later when Alex Arias struck out as the Atlanta Braves took a 3-2 win. Renteria accounted for every run in a 2-0 Marlins win against the Montreal Expos on June 22nd, scoring Todd Dunwoody and Gary Sheffield on a bases-loaded ninth inning single. On August 29th, Renteria went four-for-four, hitting two singles, two doubles, stealing a base, collecting two RBI and scoring a run in an 8-0 whitewashing of the Toronto Blue Jays.
In Florida’s march to their first World Series title after the regular season, Renteria hit 16-for-66, a .242 avearge, with three doubles. Of course, he’ll always be remembered in South Florida for this:
He had recently celebrated his 21st birthday, thankfully, so that he could celebrate with his teammates in champagne showers soon afterward.
Renteria made his first all-star appearance for his efforts in 1998, when he hit .282/.347/.342/.689 over 133 games, with a career high 41 stolen bases and 31 RBI. He earned multiple hits in 46 of his 129 starts. The Marlins, however, crashed and burned after selling off most of their assets prior to the season, and stumbled to a 54-108 record. After the season, the Marlins traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for Armando Almanza, Braden Looper, and Pablo Ozuna (Marcell’s cousin, seriously).
Renteria made the all-star team another four times through his career, with a Gold Glove and three Silver Slugger awards to his credit. After his time with the Cardinals (903 games, .290/.347/.420/.768, 71 home runs, 451 RBI, 148 stolen bases), he spent time with the Boston Red Sox (153 games, .276/.335/.385/.721, eight home runs, 70 RBI, nine stolen bases), the Atlanta Braves (273 games, .310/.374/.451/.825, 26 home runs, 127 RBI, 28 stolen bases), the Detroit Tigers (138 games, .270/.317/.382/.699, 10 home runs, 55 RBI, six stolen bases), the San Francisco Giants (196 games, .259/.316/.344/.660, eight home runs, 70 RBI, 12 stolen bases), and the Reds (96 games, .251/.306/.348/.654, five homers, 36 RBI, four stolen bases). He retired during 2013 spring training.