January 26th is a birthday for six former members of the Marlins’ minor league system.
Lionel Hastings (45)
Lionel Hastings was a 5’9”, 165 lb. second baseman from Hermosa Beach, California. The Marlins chose him in the 23rd round of the 1994 draft with the 628th overall selection out of USC. In 175 contests with the Trojans, he slashed .303/.373/.459 with 16 homers and 106 RBI.
Hastings joined the Elmira Pioneers after the draft, and over the next six seasons also played with the Brevard County Manatees, the Portland Sea Dogs, the Charlotte Knights, and the Calgary Cannons. In 582 minor league games for the Marlins, he racked up a .268/.339/.374 slashline with 33 homers and 206 RBI, with 26 stolen bases.
Tony Lucca (43)
Tony L. Lucca is a 6’, 245 lb. first baseman from South San Francisco, California. In 1993, the Minnesota Twins chose him in the 54th round of the draft, with the 1,465th overall pick out of South San Francisco HS. Instead of signing, he went to college for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In his last two collegiate seasons, he slashed .343/.449/.638 with 27 round-trippers and 127 RBI over 120 games.
Lucca joined the Utica Blue Sox to finish out the 1998 campaign and remained with the club the following season. In 109 contests for the Sox, he slashed .295/.393/.456. In 2000 for the Brevard County Manatees, he turned in a .237/.356/.319 slash in 102 games.
Kenyon West (42)
Kenyon K. West, a native of Miami, Florida, was a 6’2”, 195 lb. right-handed pitcher. The Marlins took him with the 460th pick of the 1994 draft, in the 17th round out of Miami Central HS.
West joined the GCL Marlins in 1994, and remained with the instructional level team the following season as well. He appeared in 24 games in total, starting five and going 6-2 with a 2.18 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and 25 K’s in 66 frames.
James Shanks (39)
James Albert Shanks was a 6’, 180 lb. outfielder from Appling, Georgia. The Kansas City Royals picked him in the 21st round of the 1998 draft with the 617th selection off the board out of Soloman HS.
Over the next five years, Shanks played with the GCL Royals, the Spokane Indians, the Burlington Bees, and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Just prior to the start of the 2004 campaign, the Royals released him. Florida signed him a month later.
Shanks split the 2004 season between the Carolina Knights, the Jupiter Hammerheads, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers, aggregating a .333/.378/.523 slashline with 14 homers, 23 stolen bases, and 59 RBI. 2005 would see him split the year between the Mudcats and the Albuquerque Isotopes, putting up a .292/.358/.443 in 117 games.
In 2006, Shanks spent the entire year with the Isotopes, playing in 66 contests and slashing .299/.347/.455. It was his last season in affiliated ball, but he continued to play in independent league play. He appeared with the Sioux Falls Canaries (2007), the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (2008, 2009, 2012), and the York Revolution. He played in 690 games, slashing .288/.324/.452 with 84 dingers and 427 RBI. He successfully stole 83-of-100 bases before retiring after his age-33 season.
Ryan Bear (37)
Ryan C. Bear is a 6’1”, 220 lb. first baseman from El Paso, Texas. The Marlins took him in the 30th round of the 2003 draft with the 893rd pick out of the University of Central Florida. In his final two college seasons, he slashed .355/.435/.561 in 95 games.
Bear joined the Jamestown Jammers to end the 2003 season, and eventually worked his way up to the double-A level for the Carolina Mudcats. In between, he also played with the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Jupiter Hammerheads. In his five seasons in the Marlins’ system, he put in a .263/.338/.386 slashline with 43 homers and 261 RBI, with 48 stolen bases over 579 games.
David Peters (27)
David Peters was a 6’, 195 lb. catcher from Harbor City, California. In the 16th round of the 2009 draft, the Marlins picked him with the 488th overall choice out of Lakewood HS.
Peters played part of the 2009 and the 2010 season for the GCL Marlins, and in total went 11-for-117 with a homer and eight RBI. He didn’t play again in affiliated ball.
Thanks for reading a little about Marlins’ history. If January 26th is also your birthday, than we wish you a good one, too. Check back tomorrow for more in Marlins’ history.