Dexter Kjerstad (26)
Kjerstad, turning 26 today, is a 6’1”, 210 lb. power hitting outfielder from Amarillo, Texas. He was initially drafted in the 50th round of the 2010 draft by the Cincinnati Reds, with the 1,507th selection off the board. He didn't join the Reds, instead opting for college ball, first with the Texas Longhorns, then with Howard College, then finally with the Ragin Cajuns at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Kjerstad, signed through free agency to the Kansas City Royals in 2014, appeared in 80 games for the Lexington Legends and slashed .275/.336/.428 out of right field, with six homers and 33 RBI. He started the 2015 campaign with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he slashed .247/.288/.316 in 51 games, after which the Royals parted ways with him. He signed with the Amarillo Thunderheads in the independent American Association, where he slashed .300/.338/.584, with 11 round-trippers and 31 RBI in 45 games. That performance earned him a second look in affiliated ball, and the Marlins signed him just after Christmas in 2015.
Kjerstad began his Marlins’ career in 2016 with the Hammerheads, and he would remain with the club for the entire season, slashing .227/.292/.383 over 124 games with 15 homers and 55 RBI. His home run total ranked fifth in the Florida State League, and he played another 60 games with them in 2017. He would slash .213/.276/.296, and get a quick look with the triple-A Baby Cakes, for whom he went 0-for-6 with two strikeouts in three games. The Marlins released him on August 5th.
Matt Goyen (35)
Matt Goyen was a 6’5”, 220 lb. left-handed pitcher from Athens, Georgia. The Florida Marlins spent a third round selection on him in the 2005 draft, 96th overall out of Division II Georgia College and State University. He posted a 20-5 record over four seasons, first out of the bullpen and eventually making 27 starts. He totaled a 2.24 ERA and 260 whiffs in 213 innings, with a 1.05 WHIP to his credit.
Goyen joined the Jamestown Jammers after his selection, and made 10 rotation starts for a 1-5 win-loss record, a 4.03 ERA, 44 strikeouts in 44 2⁄3 innings, and a 1.46 WHIP. He started 2006 with the Grasshoppers, and after two starts was promoted to the Hammerheads. With Jupiter, he went 2-5 with a 4.60 ERA, 56 whiffs in 86 frames, and a 1.36 WHIP.
Goyen’s last season of professional baseball was in 2007 back with the Grasshoppers, for whom he went 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA, 31 K’s in just 21 1⁄3 innings, and a 1.41 WHIP over five starts.
Pat Magness (40)
Magness, a 6’3”, 230 lb. first baseman from Kansas City, Missouri, was chosen by Florida in the 12th round of the 2000 draft, 341st overall out of Wichita State University. He posted a .392/.509/.698 slashline in his four collegiate seasons, with 64 round-trippers and 303 RBI in 249 games for the Shockers.
Magness joined the Utica Blue Sox after his selection, and went on to slash .309/.413/.497 with five homers and 40 RBI in 50 games for the low-A class NYPL outfit. He earned a promotion to the mid-level-A Kane County Cougars for the start of the 2001 season, where he slashed .256/.400/.396 in 68 contests, with six homers and 39 RBI. His patience at the plate (53 walks versus 41 strikeouts) paid off with a mid-season-promotion to the high-A Brevard County Manatees, where he appeared in 35 games and hit .274/.363/.359.
Florida shifted their FSL affilate to Jupiter in 2002, where Magness would make his home with the Hammerheads. In 111 contests, he hit .292/.413/.487 with 16 homers and 73 RBI, with 79 walks. He joined the 2003 Carolina Mudcats the following campaign, where he appeared in 52 games and hit just .227/.350/.348 as their first baseman. After starting the following year with a .211/.314/.372 slashline in 69 games for Carolina, the Marlins released him.
Magness joined up with the Cleveland Indians high-A Kinston outfit, and later swatted 24 homers with 92 RBI for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ high-A Lynchburg Hillcats in 2005. After playing with the Kansas City T-Bones in the Independent Northern League in 2006 and 2008, he retired from professional ball.
Vladimil Veloz (33)
Veloz was an undrafted 6’1”, 170 lb. outfielder from San Juan De La Maguana, Dominican Republic when signed by the Marlins through free agency in 2003. He played in 23 games for the GCL Marlins that season, and hit .183/.231/.267 with no homer runs and three RBI.
Glenn Reeves (44)
Reeves was a 6’, 195 lb. outfielder from Glen Waverly, Australia. Undrafted, he joined the GCL Marlins in 1993 and hit .282/.366/.339 in 48 contests. He played outfield for the Kane County Cougars in 1994, and hit .257/.372/.338 in 102 games, with 66 walks and 76 whiffs.
Reeves played the next two years with the Brevard County Manatees, appearing in 240 games and slashing .286/.387/.380, then played three years with the double-A Portland Sea Dogs, slashing .299/.411/.418 in 125 games. After hitting .216/.331/.284 with the triple-A Calgary Cannons in 1999, showing remarkable patience but not a very good eye for hitting for average or power, the Marlins cut him loose. He played a season with the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League in 2000, hitting .306/.429/.396 in 91 games, but didn’t appear in pro ball after that.
Martin Sanchez (41)
Sanchez is a 6’2”, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Undrafted, he was signed by the Atlanta Braves in 1996, and went 5-5 for the Macon Braves in 31 games, with a 3.97 ERA.
Sanchez joined the Marlins’ single-A Kane County Cougars in 1997, and came out of the bullpen 51 times for a 3-5 record, a 4.50 ERA, 57 whiffs in 54 innings, and a solid 1.33 WHIP. Regardless, it was his last appearance in the Marlins’ system, and he spent the next three seasons rising through the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor leagues before joining the Allentown Ambassadors in the independent Northern League in 2001.
Thanks for reading, and if January 19th is your birthday, too, then Happy Birthday to you, too.