Here’s another seven players to have appeared for the Florida and Miami Marlins over their first 28 seasons of play.
Of these seven players featured in today’s article, the first two are from tier three of the explanation on the front page (less than 20 PA/BF, brWAR better than zero). The other five are from the fourth tier (between 20 and 74 PA/BF, brWAR below replacement level).
553. Mike Morin
Mike Morin is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Andover, Minnesota. Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 40th round of the 2009 draft, he instead attended the University of North Carolina. In three seasons for the Tar Heels, he was 15-9 with a 3.68 ERA and 164 whiffs in 161 2⁄3 innings, making the 2012 All-American Third Team. Drafted again in 2012 to the Los Angeles Angels, Morin went in the 13th round.
Although now just 29-years-old, Morin is a seven-year major league veteran. With the Angels then with the Royals, and later between the Seattle Mariners, the Minnesota Twins, and the Philadelphia Phillies, he compiled an 11-11 record, a 4.65 ERA, and 192 whiffs in 224 2⁄3 innings over 238 major league appearances. Granted free agency following the 2019 campaign, he was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers through free agency.
Just as the 2020 season got underway in belated fashion, the Marlins found themselves short a dozen and a half players due to an in-house COVID-19 outbreak. Enter Morin, taken from the Crew off waivers.
Morin played in three games for the Marlins (so far), totaling four innings of work. He struck out two, while allowing no runs on one hit and one walk. Twenty-five of his 40 pitches were in the zone, a 63 percent strike-rate. In his first appearance, on August 6, he entered in the sixth inning of a 6-6 tie with the Baltimore Orioles with runners on first and second and nobody out. He retired the next three batters on fly-ball outs, and followed with a perfect seventh inning to earn the victory.
Six days later, in his last appearance to date, Morin retired one Blue Jay on one pitch. It was his only pitch that day, and he was removed with a right-elbow injury which proved to be a UCL.
552. Yefri Pérez
Yefri Pérez is a five-foot-11, switch-hitting middle-infielder from Bani, Dominican Republic. At the end of 2008, while still just 17-years-old, Pérez signed his first professional deal to play for the Marlins in their minor league system. In 2015, at the High-A level with the Jupiter Hammerheads, he hit .240/.286/.269. Despite that well-below-average figure, Pérez did steal 71 bases in 91 attempts to lead the Florida State League by a wide margin, getting named to the FSL All-Star Team as a utility outfielder in the process.
In 2016, Pérez put together a .259/.334/308 slash line for the Jacksonville Suns with 39-of-50 successful steal attempts. Called up to the majors in July, he didn’t get a plate appearance in two contests. As a pinch-runner, he stole a base and scored a run. Called up again in September, he ended up going two-for-three with a double, four steals in six attempts, and five runs scored. Defensively, he took five chances without an error in 5 1⁄3 innings at shortstop and second base.
Back with Jacksonville in 2017, Pérez underwhelmed even by his own modest standards by slashing .169/.280/.242 in 76 games. Granted free agency following the campaign, Pérez signed and was subsequently released by the St. Louis Cardinals without getting into a game at the start of 2018. He hasn’t again appeared in affiliated ball.
551. Casey Kotchman
Casey Kotchman is a left-handed first baseman from St. Petersburg, Florida. He was taken in the first round of the draft in 2001 by the Anaheim Angels and debuted in the majors for them three seasons later. In five seasons at that level for them, Kotchman hit .274/.337/.426 with 31 home runs and 165 RBI in 351 games. In mid-2008, the Angels traded Kotchman to the Braves with Stephen Marek for Mark Teixeira.
After joining the Braves, Kotchman also played for the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Cleveland Indians over the next four years. His best season was clearly 2011, when he slashed .306/.378/.422 with 10 round-trippers and 48 RBI with a 127 OPS+ for the Rays. Just before the start of 2013 Spring Training, the Marlins signed Kotchman through free agency.
Kotchman appeared in a total of six games for the Marlins, two in April and six more in June. In 21 plate appearances, he got to first base only one time, on a walk. He only struck out once, and collected an RBI, but otherwise was 0-for-20. Defensively, he played 46 2⁄3 innings and totaled one error in 42 chances, turning four double plays.
550. Gerónimo Berroa
Gerónimo Berroa was a six-foot outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At the age of 18, he signed his first professional deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1983. After the 1988 season, the Atlanta Braves got Berroa through the rule 5 draft. In 88 games for the Braves, he hit .257/.297/.329. Released prior to 1991, Berroa caught on with the Seattle Mariners in the minors, then was purchased by the Cleveland Indians.
Granted free agency after the season, Berroa signed a deal to join the Cincinnati Reds. He went four-for-15 at the major league level and got released after the season. On December 9, 1992, Berroa signed a deal to join the inaugural version of the Florida Marlins. In 90 games at the Triple-A level with the Edmonton Trappers, he hit .327/.397/.599 and hit 16 homers with 68 RBI.
Berroa went four-for-34 at the major league level for the Marlins, with a double, three runs scored, and zero RBI. In only one of his 14 Marlins’ appearances did he finish the game with a positive WPA. That was on May 19, in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He was one-for-three with a walk and a run. In right field, Berroa added to his negative impact on the Marlins by making two errors in 12 chances. The Marlins did not try to retain his services past the 1993 season.
Berroa enjoyed a brief flirtation with stardom after joining the Oakland Athletics. In four seasons starting in 1994, he played in 463 games and hit .293/.361/.499 with 87 homers and 301 RBI. Later on, he appeared at the major league level with the Baltimore Orioles, the Indians, the Detroit Tigers, the Blue Jays, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
549. Edgar Olmos
Left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos was the third round pick of the Florida Marlins in 2008. A native of Sylmar, California, the Marlins incubated Olmos in the minors for the better part of six seasons before calling him up for his major league debut. In 2011, he put together a jarring 4-17 record with a 6.63 ERA and a 1.943 WHIP in 28 starts with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads. In 2013 at Double-A with the Jacksonville Suns, he had a less remarkable line, going 4-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 38 relief appearances, along with a 1.470 WHIP.
The Marlins gave Olmos a look in June of that season, pitching him in five games. He allowed four earned runs in five innings of work, for a 7.20 ERA, but he also surrendered five unearned runs over that same timeframe. He walked three and allowed seven hits while striking out two. He put 45-of-76 pitches over the plate.
2014 would see Olmos ensconced back in the minors for the Marlins, between the Suns and their Triple-A affiliate, the New Orleans Zephyrs. Combined, he had a 3-3 record, a much-improved 1.300 WHIP, and a 4.06 ERA, with 60 K’s in 77 2⁄3 innings. Despite his progress, Olmos was placed on waivers, and the Seattle Mariners claimed him. In 14 major league innings for the M’s, he gave up eight runs on 16 hits and eight walks, with four strikeouts.
548. Elih Villanueva
Miami, Florida native Elih Villanueva was chosen out of Florida State University by the Marlins in the 27th round of the 2008 draft. The 2010 season would see him post stand-out statistics at the Double-A level for the Suns, with a 14-4 record, a 2.26 ERA, and a 0.955 WHIP. Although not a strikeout pitcher (115 in 179 innings), Villanueva excelled at limiting free passes (only 34).
Villanueva’s eye-popping stat line put him on the shortlist for midseason callup duty in 2011. On June 15, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies he got the start. He lasted only three innings, allowing five hits and five walks for eight runs. He also hit a batter. Of his 92 pitches, only 52 finished in the strike zone for a 57 percent rate. The Marlins kept him in the minors through the 2014 campaign before releasing him.
The Baltimore Orioles picked Villanueva up prior to the 2015 season, and he later also signed on with the Boston Red Sox in 2017, but he never again reached the major league level (to date).
547. Jhonatan Solano
Right-handed catcher Jhonatan Solano is a native of Barranquilla, Columbia, and signed his first pro-deal with the Washington Nationals at the age of 20. Four seasons later, he made his first major league appearance with the Nats, appearing in 36 games between 2012 and 2013 He slashed .217/.253/.349 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
Solano was released by Washington shortly after the 2014 season, and the Marlins signed him through free agency. 2015 would see Solano mostly at the Triple-A level with the Zephyrs, where he played in 55 games and hit .228/.271/.311. Called up to the Marlins for a seven-game look in May, Solano batted eighth in the lineup, protecting brother Donovan at seven. In his second Marlins at bat, he drove his brother home with a double. He went one-for-two with a walk in the contest, a 6-2 loss to the Phillies.
Unfortunately for Solano, he was unable to recreate that first-game magic for the Marlins, and did not collect another safe base-hit. Overall, he was one-for-20 with two RBI. As May closed, he was sent back to the minor leagues. He resigned with the Nationals after the season, but didn’t get back to the majors.