January 30th marks the birthday of 10 current and former members of the Florida and Miami Marlins extended family.
Brett Graves (25)
Brett Graves is a 6’1”, 170 lb. right-handed pitcher from St. Charles, Missouri. In 2014, the Oakland Athletics picked him in the third round of the draft, 101st overall out of the University of Missouri. He was 9-16 with a 4.39 ERA for the Tigers in three seasons of SEC play.
From 2014 to now, Graves has played with the AZL Athletics, the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Beloit Snappers, the Stockton Ports, and the Midland RockHounds in the A’s system. In 78 games, 66 of them starts, he’s amassed a 23-21 record with a 5.00 ERA, 253 strikeouts in 362 innings, and a 1.41 WHIP.
In December 2017, the Marlins picked Graves in the rule 5 draft, and as such need to keep him on the major league roster for the duration of the season or send him back to Oakland. Graves is a groundout pitcher who excels in keeping the ball down, as shown by this nifty mlbfarm.com widget.
Ben Meyer (25)
Ben Meyer is a 6’5”, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from New Brighton, Minnesota. The Marlins picked him in the 25th round in 2015 out of the University of Minnesota, with the 866th overall choice. In four Big 10 seasons, Meyer put up a 13-17 record with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 219 whiffs in 288 innings.
College was great as a transition to pro ball, and off the field you learn to balance your time. - Meyer
Over the last three years, Meyer has worked his way up from the GCL Marlins through the Greensboro Grasshoppers and onto the Jupiter Hammerheads. In 82 contests in total, including 22 starts, he has earned an 11-16 record, a 2.74 ERA, 258 strikeouts in 243 innings, and a 1.07 WHIP. In a 3-1 loss to the Florida Fire Frogs last June 29th, he struck out seven and allowed just one hit in six shutout innings.
Meyer’s currently rostered with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, where all the guys who have “next” tend to gather. Check out this recent addition to the Marlin on the Rise series where he’s profiled more in depth.
Tyler Moore (31)
Tyler Moore is a 6’1”, 209 lb. first baseman from Laurel, Mississippi. In 2008, the Washington Nationals chose him in the 16th round of the draft with the 481st overall selection off of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. In two collegiate seasons, he slashed .380/.416/.730, with 33 home runs and 108 RBI in 112 games.
Moore spent the balance of 2008 through 2011 in the Nationals minor league feeder system, making his way up through the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Hagerstown Suns, the Potomac Nationals, the Harrisburg Senators, and the Syracuse Chiefs. In the four seasons following, which he spent mainly in the major league with Washington, he slashed .228/.281/.401 in 277 games. After a season spent in the Atlanta Braves minor league system, with the Gwinnett Braves, the Marlins signed him to a minor league deal in December 2016.
After joining the Marlins for the 2017 campaign, Moore slashed .230/.273/.401 in 104 games. After refusing an assignment back to the minors, he was granted free agency.
Nick Duron (22)
Nick Duron is a 6’4”, 190 lb. right-handed pitcher from Tigard, Oregon. In 2015, the Boston Red Sox picked him in the 31st round out of Clark College, with the 921st choice. After going 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 relief appearances for the GCL Red Sox to close out that season he spent the entire 2016 season on the DL.
Duron started out 2017 with the Lowell Spinners, and joined the Batavia Muckdogs for about a week before returning to the Spinners. He never got into a game for any Marlins’ affiliate, and remains part of the Red Sox’ organization.
Kenny Wilson (28)
Kenneth E. Wilson is a 6’, 165 lb. outfielder from Tampa, Florida. In 2008, the Toronto Blue Jays picked him out of Sickles HS in the second round, with the 63rd choice. From 2008 through 2013, he appeared at four levels of Blue Jays ball, between the GCL Blue Jays, the Lansing Lugnuts, the Dunedin Blue Jays, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The 2014 season would see Wilson start in the Toronto organization, then make his way to the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) and the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A’s). That’s a lot of cats and a few birds. In 2015, he would add fish to the list.
Wilson signed a minor league deal with the Marlins prior to the 2015 season, and slashed .270/.348/.394 in 130 games for the Jacksonville Suns, with 37 stolen bases and eight homers with 48 RBI. He would split the 2016 campaign between the Suns and the New Orleans Zephyrs, slashing .255/.346/.336 in 125 games, with 30 stolen bases.
Wilson joined the A’s minor league system once again for the 2017 season, and recently signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Matt Popowitz (20)
Matt Popowitz was a 5’11”, 160 lb. catcher from Suffern, New York. Miami chose him in the 36th round of the 2016 draft, 1,073rd overall out of Suffern HS, but he did not sign. He’s currently happily attending the University of Pennsylvania, and scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2020.
Jorge Cantu (36)
Jorge Luis Guzman Cantu is a 6’1”, 178 lb. infielder from Reynosa, Mexico. In 1998, the Tampa Bay Rays signed him to a free agent deal. He played in 322 games for the Rays (.272/.308/.448) and 27 for the Cincinnati Reds (.298/.382/.491) before signing a minor league deal with the Marlins before the 2008 season.
In three seasons for the Marlins, Cantu slashed .278/.330/.450, with 55 round trippers and 249 RBI in 401 games. Later, he played in 30 games for the Texas Rangers (.235/.279/.327) and in 57 for the San Diego Padres (.194/.232/.285). He has spent the last four seasons in the Mexican League, most recently with the Tijuana Toros.
Jeremy Hermida (34)
Jeremy Ryan Hermida was a 6’4”, 200 lb right fielder from Marietta, Georgia. The Marlins made him a first round selection in 2002, 11th overall off the board out of Wheeler HS.
Ultimately, Hermida made his debut with the 2005 Marlins, and ended up spending five seasons with the franchise. In 516 games, he slashed .265/.344/.425 with 57 moonshots and 210 RBI. Later, he split 2010 between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s, and 2011 between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres.
John Lindsey (41)
John Wiliam Lindsey was a 6’3”, 220 lb. first baseman from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Colorado Rockies chose him in the 13th round of the 1995 draft with the 347th choice out of Hattiesburg HS.
Lindsey rose through the Colorado system and eventually joined the Seattle Mariners farm. In 2005, the Marlins signed him to a deal, and sent him to the Jupiter Hammerheads.
With Jupiter, Lindsey got into 30 games and went 21-for-96 with eight doubles, one homer, and 16 RBI. After a few years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he rejoined the Marlins and played the 2009 season with the New Orleans Zephyrs. In 133 games, he slashed .251/.331/.433 with 19 home runs and 83 RBI.
In 2010, at the age of 33, Lindsey made his major league debut with the Dodgers, and went 1-for-12 in 11 contests. It was his only look at the major league level. He started playing in the Mexican League in 2013, and now, at the age of 41, has presumably retired (he last appeared in 2015 with the Saltillo Saraperos). He leaves his mark on the game to the tune of 309 minor league home runs.
Jared Wesson (32)
Malcolm Jared Wesson was a 6’3”, 192 lb. left-handed pitcher from Tupelo, Mississippi. In 2005, the Marlins chose him out of Tupelo HS in the 29th round, 876th overall.
Wesson didn’t sign with the Marlins, and played a little bit for the Mississippi State Bulldogs (he was 2-1 with a 9.36 ERA, mostly in relief). Despite that questionable stat line, the Detroit Tigers thought enough of him to take a flyer. He would spend four seasons in the Tigers’ system, racking up a 30-26 record with a 4.66 ERA, 306 whiffs in 384 innings, and a 1.53 WHIP.
Thanks for reading a little today about Marlins’ history. Happy Birthday to our 10 current and former Marlins, and if January 30th is your birthday, well then Happy Birthday to you. Check back tomorrow for more in the annals of Miami Marlins History.