February 1st is a day that eight current and former Marlins’ associates call their birthday. Led by former Marlins Joe Mahoney and Hector Luna, they range in ages from 52 all the way down to 26. They’re listed here in order of their last appearance in the organization.
Austen Smith (26)
Austen Taylor Smith is a 6’3”, 225 lb. first baseman from Cantonment, Florida. In 2014, the Marlins picked him in the 33rd round of the draft, with the 977th overall selection out of the University of Alabama. In 169 collegiate appearances, he slashed .254/.366/.442.
After getting drafted, Smith played in 47 games for the GCL Marlins, in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He would put up a .288/.406/.471 slashline, smacking seven homers and collecting a team-leading 34 RBI. He spent 2015 with the A-level Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, slashing .241/.349/.431 in 113 contests, with 17 homers and 50 RBI. In a rarity, he was one of four players on the team between 16 and 19 round trippers, along with John Norwood (16), K.J. Woods (18), and Arturo Rodriguez (19). Smith was released prior to the 2016 campaign.
Joe Mahoney (31)
Joseph Edward Mahoney is a 6’7”, 255 lb. first baseman from Albany, New York. In 2007, the Baltimore Orioles picked him in the sixth round of the draft, with the 189th choice off the board out of the University of Richmond. In 171 collegiate games, he slashed .310/.389/.506, with 31 home runs and 152 RBI.
Mahoney made his way up through Baltimore’s system over the next six seasons, starting with the Aberdeen Ironbirds and making stops with the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Frederick Keys, the Bowie BaySox, and the Norfolk Tides. In 2012, he would go 0-for-4 in a callup to the Orioles. Following the season, he was DFA’d, then subsequently claimed off waivers by the Marlins.
Mahoney started the 2013 season on the 15-day DL with an intercostal strain, then later played in nine games for Miami, going eight-for-29 with a home run and four RBI in mid-to-late April. His best day as a major league player was probably when he started both halves of a double header on April 23rd, and went four-for-eight with a double and two RBI as the Marlins split with the Minnesota Twins. On April 30th, he strained his hamstring, and never again made it back to the major league level. Mahoney went 10-for-33 in nine games with the Jupiter Hammerheads, and slashed .190/.200/.262 in 55 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs. He was granted free agency after the season, and hasn’t appeared in any capacity since.
Hector Luna (36)
Hector R. Luna is a 6’1”, 170 lb. super-utility player from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. The Cleveland Indians signed him as a free agent in 1999. Before his time with the Marlins, he played in the systems of the Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Marlins signed him prior to 2010 Spring Training.
Luna spent the balance of the campaign with the New Orleans Zephyrs, slashing .294/.367/.477 with 16 moonshots and 71 RBI in 97 games. He would spend August and September with the Marlins, going four-for-29 with two homers.
Later, Luna played in the minors for the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, even making it back to the bigs with the Phils for a bit in 2012. He then played four seasons in the Japanese Central League, three with the Chunichi Dragons and one with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Dennis Anderson (40)
Dennis Eugene Anderson was a 6’, 200 lb. catcher from Tuscon, Arizona. The Marlins got him in the 25th round of the draft in 2000, with the 746th choice off the board out of the University of Arizona.
Anderson played for seven seasons in Florida’s organization, peaking from 2003 through 2005 with the Carolina Mudcats in the double-A Southern League. In 173 games there, he slashed .277/.359/.366.
Presumably not tendered a contract prior to 2006, Anderson signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs, but later didn’t make the cut. He played the season in the American Association with the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Steven Pujol (40)
Steven Pujol was a 6’4”, 195 lb. left-handed pitcher from Mission Hills, California when selected by the Marlins in the 38th round of the 2005 draft with the 1,146th pick. He did not sign with the team, and did not later appear elsewhere in competitive baseball.
Rich Becker (46)
Rich Becker was a 5’10”, 193 lb. outfielder from Aurora, Illinois. The Minnesota Twins chose him in the third round of the 1990 draft, with the 85th choice off the board out of West Aurora HS.
Becker played in eight major league seasons, appearing in contests at the top level of baseball with the Twins, the New York Mets, the Baltimore Orioles, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Oakland Athletics, and the Detroit Tigers. In 789 total games, he slashed 256/.358/.372, with 45 home runs and 243 RBI.
Becker opened the 2001 season with the Toledo Mud Hens, at that time the Tigers triple-A affiliated team. Midway through the campaign, he found himself as part of the Calgary Cannons in the Pacific Coast League for the Marlins. In 50 contests, he put down a .264/.368/.466 with eight home runs and 28 RBI. Regardless, he didn’t again appear at the major league level, and in fact didn’t appear again in any level of affiliated ball. In 2002, he spent the year with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the independent Northern League.
Peter Selden (39)
Peter Selden was a 6’3”, 200 lb. right-handed pitcher from Holley, New York. In 1998, the Marlins chose him in the 45th round of the draft with the 1,348th pick out of Holley HS.
Selden didn’t sign with the Marlins, joining instead the team at the University at Buffalo. He didn’t again appear at any level of competitive baseball.
Darrin Chapin (52)
Darrin John Chapin was a 6’, 170 lb. right-handed pitcher from Warren, Ohio. The New York Yankees chose him in the sixth round of the draft back in 1986 with the 155th selection out of Cleveland State University. He spent six seasons in the Yankee system, getting into three games at the major league level in 1991. He allowed three runs on three hits and six walks in 5 1⁄3 innings.
After that, Chapin played a season in the Philadelphia Phillies system, and got into one major league game for them. He allowed a two run homer in two innings of work. After a year with the Portland Beavers in the Minnesota Twins system, he joined the Edmonton Trappers for the Marlins in 1994.
Chapin pitched in 53 games for the Trappers that year, earning a 3-2 record, a 6.21 ERA, a 1.65 WHIP, and striking out 64 in 91 1⁄3 innings. He played minor league ball for the Cleveland Indians organization the following season, and was out of baseball in 1996.
Thanks for reading a little bit about the guys who make up Marlins history today. Join us tomorrow for more, and in the meantime, follow us on Twitter and and like us on Facebook.