Today’s daily feature has 12 Marlins celebrating their birthdays. From prospects to D-Train, six of them have appeared with the Fish at the major league level.
Casey Candaele (57)
Candaele began his professional baseball journey in 1983 with the West Palm Beach Expos in the FSL, then bounced around the majors and the minors with the Houston Astros, the Cincinnati Reds, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cleveland Indians, and the Pittsburgh Pirates before signing as a free agent with the Calgary Cannons at the age of 39 in 2000. He hit .214/.306/.310 with 11 RBI in 22 contests.
Nigel Wilson (48)
Wilson was an undrafted free agent from Ontario when signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987, and became a Marlin with Florida’s second pick in the expansion draft five years later. He played in 183 games for the Edmonton Trappers, and played in seven games for the 1993 Marlins. Wilson went 0-for-16 with 11 strikeouts in his Florida career. He later signed on with the Cincinnati Reds and the Indians.
Andy Fox (47)
Through his major league career, Andy Fox appeared at every position besides pitcher and catcher, with over 200 starts each at third base, second base, and shortstop. Born in Sacramento and drafted by the New York Yankees in 1989, Fox also latched on with the Arizona Diamondbacks before getting traded to the Marlins for Danny Bautista in 2000. He slashed .255/.326/.325 in 326 contests with Florida, with 10 home runs and 41 stolen bases over four seasons. He later played with the Montreal Expos and the Texas Rangers before joining the Salt Lake Stingers in 2005 to close out his career.
Nigel Alejo (43)
Alejo was a righty pitcher out of Venezuela, and went 4-1 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP for the 1995 Kane County Cougars. Over the next two seasons, he pitched in 44 games for the Brevard County Manatees, going 2-6 with a 4.10 ERA, 11 saves and a 1.35 WHIP, with 46 K’s in 52 innings pitched.
Luis Ayala (40)
Ayala is the textbook definition of a baseball journeyman, starting the 2000 season and ending the 2017 season with the Saltillo Saraperos in the Mexican League. In between those seasons, he appeared with the Expos, the Rockies, the Nationals, the Mets, the Twins, the Diamondbacks, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Orioles, the Braves, and the Blue Jays. Oh, and he also played in part of 2009 with the Marlins, racking up an 11.74 ERA in 10 games for Florida. He was 0-3 for the Fish.
Rodney Fernandez (39)
Rodney Fernandez was born in Havana, Cuba, and pitched two innings for the 2003 GCL Marlins. He allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks.
Dontrelle Willis (36)
One of Miami’s most colorful players during his time with the team, Willis, or D-Train cemented himself as a stalwart of the Florida rotation, going 68-54 over 162 starts from 2003 through 2007. He put up a 3.78 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, striking out 757 batters in 1023 innings. He was a two-time all-star for the Marlins, and led the National League in 2005 with 22 wins and with five shutouts.
Tyson Graham (35)
Graham, an outfielder, was taken in the 40th round of the 2001 draft by the Marlins, and spent parts of the next two seasons with the GCL Marlins. He slashed .204/.280/.283 during his brief minor league career, and was out of baseball by 2003.
Scott Olsen (34)
Olsen was a highly regarded prospect out of Kalamazoo, Michigan when the Marlins picked him up in the sixth round of the 2002 draft, and eventually made his way up to the #34 league-wide prospect in 2006. He made it to the bigs for the first time in 2005, and played the next four seasons for Florida, starting in 101 of his 102 major league appearances. For the Marlins, he went 31-37 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, with 433 whiffs in 579 frames.
Chris Hatcher (33)
Hatcher was drafted by Florida in the fifth round in 2006 as a catcher, but over the next several seasons made a successful transition to the mound, graduating to Florida in 2011. In four seasons out of the bullpen for the Marlins, Hatcher went 0-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 81 games, with a 1.36 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 90 innings.
Blake Logan (26)
Logan was Miami’s 13th round selection in 2012, and played through Miami’s minor league system for the next five seasons. He peaked in 2015 with the New Orleans Zephyrs, where he was 1-4 with a 4.76 ERA. In total, he whiffed 236 batters in 240 innings through five levels of Marlins baseball, going 9-18 with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 122 appearances.
Leisman Acosta (21)
A second baseman out of Venezuela, Acosta played in 70 games for the DSL Marlins in 2014 and 2015, slashing .292/.348/.352 with no homers and 35 RBI.
Thanks for reading. Check back tomorrow for more in Marlins’ history.