Happy Halloween, and welcome to the 14th chapter of our offseason-long series on every player to appear with the Miami Marlins.
The following seven players are from the fourth tier of the countdown as outlined on the hub page. That is — these seven are all below replacement level and have between 20 and 74 plate appearances / batters faced. Players are ranked within their tier group (20-74 PA/BF) by brWAR per PA/BF. As such, each player is marginally better than the one before by this measure.
539. Jorge Julio
Right-handed pitcher Jorge Julio is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. He signed his first pro deal on Valentine’s Day in 1996, at the age of 16. After four years, Montreal traded him to the Baltimore Orioles for Ryan Minor. Another year, and he made his major league debut with the Orange Birds.
In five seasons out of the pen for Baltimore, Julio went 11-24 with a 4.20 ERA and 257 K’s in 291 2⁄3 innings. He split the 2006 campaign between the New York Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks, racking up a 2-4 record with a 4.23 ERA and 88 whiffs in only 66 frames. Just before the start of the 2007 season, the D-Backs traded Julio with cash to the Marlins for Yusmeiro Petit.
Julio’s tenure with Florida lasted exactly 10 games. He walked 11 and allowed 18 hits in only 9 1⁄3 innings for a 3.107 WHIP. He gave up 14 runs during that time, struck out six, and posted a 12.54 ERA. He drew a walk in his only plate appearance, and handled one fielding chance without an error. On May 13, the Marlins traded him to the Colorado Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.
538. Paul Quantrill
Lefty-batting righty-throwing Paul Quantrill is a London, Canada native. A six-foot-one pitcher, Quantrill was a sixth round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 1989 draft. Prior to the 2005 season, he started 64 games and came into 727 more in relief for Boston, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the New York Yankees. He struck out 689 in 1186 2⁄3 innings, going 66-76 with 21 saves and a 3.74 ERA.
Quantrill was an American League All Star in 2001 for the Red Sox, and four times led the league in appearances, topping 80 in every season from 2001 through 2004. He started 2005 with the Yankees, was traded to the San Diego Padres midseason, and released on August 31. The Marlins signed him through free agency a week later for what turned out to be the remainder of the season.
Quantrill pitched 5 1⁄3 innings for Florida, and allowed seven runs on eight hits and five walks. He only struck out one batter, despite putting 58 percent of his 110 pitches over the plate. He didn’t make a plate appearance, and handled two chances without an error.
537. Marty Malloy
Gainesville, Floride native Marty Malloy was drafted in the 48th round of the 1990 draft by the California Angels. A left-handed batting infielder, Malloy got to the majors in 1998 with the Atlanta Braves, going five-for-28 in 11 contests. He didn’t make it back to the big leagues for another four seasons, bouncing around the minors with the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds.
After the 2001 season, Malloy signed with the Marlins through free agency. He appeared in 24 contests, although he didn’t start any of them. At the plate, he was three for 25 with zero extra base hits, a run, and an RBI. He struck out eight times and drew two walks, adding one sacrifice hit. Defensively, he handled nine chances in 19 innings, and made zero errors. Florida granted Malloy his free agency on June 10.
536. Brent Billingsley
Left-handed pitcher Brent Billingsley was the Marlins fifth round draft pick in 1996 out of California State University. A Downey, California native, he started 15 NYPL games at the Short-Season-A level for the Utica Pioneers after the draft, going 4-5 with a 4.01 ERA and 82 whiffs in 89 2⁄3 innings. Promoted to the Single-A Kane County Cougars rotation in 1997, Billingsley went 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA in 26 starts, with another 175 K’s in 170 2⁄3 innings.
In 1998, Billingsley went 6-13 with a 3.74 ERA with the Portland Sea Dogs at Double-A. In 28 starts, he continued to pile up strikeouts at over a batter per inning, with 183 in 171 frames. Another year, another level for Billingsley in 1999, where he was 2-9 in 21 starts at Triple-A for the Calgary Cannons. His knack for making batters miss seemed to have eluded him at that point, with only 79 in 116 2⁄3 innings.
Three times through the 1999 season, Billingsley was called up to fill a spot in the Marlins bullpen. Despite his obvious talent for starting versus relieving, and him never having relieved in the minors, he came into eight games out of the pen for Florida and never started. The results weren’t pretty. He gave up 14 earned runs in 7 2⁄3 innings, on 14 hits and 10 walks. He also hit two batters, and gave up as many homers (three) as he had strikeouts. His resultant 16.43 ERA and 2.739 WHIP would see him placed on waivers by Florida after the season, where the Montreal Expos picked him up. He did not get back to the major league level.
535. Jim Crowell
Left-handed pitcher Jim Crowell, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, signed his first pro deal with the Cleveland Indians in 1995, at the age of 21 out of the University of Indianapolis. In mid-1997, the Tribe traded him with Danny Graves, Damian Jackson, and Scott Winchester to the Reds for Jeff Branson and John Smiley. He soon afterward made his major league debut with Cincinnati, but he allowed seven runs in 6 1⁄3 innings over two games, including one start.
It would be another seven years before Crowell again reached the major league level, a time during which he played in the minor league systems of the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Diego Padres, and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2004, he graduated back to the bigs with them, pitching better but not quite good enough to stick for more than three innings over four games. He signed with the Marlins following the season.
Most of the 2005 campaign would see Crowell with the Albuquerque Isotopes for the Marlins at the Triple-A level. He pitched to a solid 2.67 ERA with 44 K’s in 60 2⁄3 innings, along with a better-than-average 1.121 WHIP. In May, he pitched 3 1⁄3 innings over four games for the Marlins, but allowed 10 hits for eight runs, all earned. He didn’t walk anyone, but he did hit two batters and struck two others out. With an opposing slash line of .526/.545/.947, there was nowhere for the Marlins to hide Crowell on the major league roster. He wouldn’t again make it back to the majors.
534. Justin Shafer
Justin Shafer is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Lake Wales, Florida. An eighth round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, he debuted with them in 2018. He pitched in 40 major league contests for them over the next two seasons, going 2-1 with one save, a 3.75 ERA, and a 1.646 WHIP. The Cincinnati Reds purchased his contract after the 2019 season. but he was waived just as the 2020 season got underway. The Marlins snapped him up.
Shafer’s first three Marlins appearances, between August 5 and 11, weren’t half-bad. In four innings of work, he struck out four and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks. Not barn busting numbers by any measure, but good enough for the COVID-19 wracked Marlins to keep around. In his final two appearances, however, he gave up six runs on six hits and a walk in just 1 2⁄3 innings. The Marlins released him on September 9.
533. Frank Gracesqui
Left-handed pitcher Frank Gracesqui is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 1998, the Toronto Blue Jays spent their 21st round selection on him. After spending four seasons in the north-of-the-border outfit’s minor league feeder system, the Marlins drafted him in the 2002 minor league draft.
In 2003, pitching for the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, Gracesqui went 3-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 58 innings of work over 44 relief appearances. He struck out 75, although he carried a concerning 1.500 WHIP due to a 6.67 BB/9 rate. Nevertheless the Marlins called him up for a look in April of the following season. Over his first five appearances, he allowed just one run on one hit and two walks. HIs final two appearances would see him give up four in one inning. That was apparently enough for the Marlins, who sent him back to the minors for the next two-and-a-half years before granting his free agency.
Gracesqui signed with the Baltimore Orioles for the 2006 season, but didn’t get back to the major leagues.