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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 15

We round out the “Bottom 100” in today’s chapter, with another seven bit-players in Marlins history.

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This is the fifteenth of 165 chapters in an offseason-long series on all 630 players to appear with the Marlins through their first 28 seasons.

We hope you had a Happy Halloween, and are happy to see you again here at Fish Stripes. The players listed in today’s article are all from the fourth tier of the 12 tiers described on the series hub page. That is—each of these men were below replacement level, and each had between 20 and 74 PA/BF. Players are listed within their tier on the basis of brWAR divided by PA/BF. As such, each player had a marginally better measurable impact than the player immediately preceding him.

532. Billy McMillon

Lefty hitting Billy McMillon is a left fielder out of Alamogordo, New Mexico. In 1993, the Florida Marlins took him in the eighth round of the draft. After signing on the dotted line, he was sent to the NYPL, with the Short-Season-A Elmira Pioneers. He hit .305/.398/.465 in 57 games, with six homers and 35 RBI. As part of the Kane County Cougars in the following campaign at the Single-A level, he hit .252/.366/.417 with 17 round-trippers and a Midwest League leading 101 RBI.

McMillon kept producing results at ever higher levels of the minors, continuing the trend in 1995 at the Double-A level with the Portland Sea Dogs. He hit .313/.423/.461 with 14 jacks, 93 RBI, and more walks (96) than whiffs (90). You don’t see that anymore. 1996 was even better for McMillon with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, where he slashed out a .352/.418/.602 line with 17 homers and 70 RBI in 97 games.

By this point, McMillon was Florida’s number seven prospect, according to Baseball America, and they gave him his first major league look starting on July 26 in response. He started his career with a three-game hitting streak, going two-for-three with three RBI in the second one, a 20-12 loss to the San Diego Padres. His bat wouldn't remain hot for long.

In 28 games, he took 56 trips to the plate and had 11 singles without an extra base hit. He drew five walks and struck out 14 times, collecting just one more RBI. He played in another 13 games for the Marlins in 1997, but was just two-for-18 from the plate. In total, he played 107 13 innings in the outfield, and took 21 chances without an error. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Darren Daulton on July 21, and what a good deal that turned out to be.

McMillon finished out that season with the Phillies, and later played at the major league level for the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics.

531. Rob Murphy

Miami, Florida native Rob Murphy was a left-handed throwing pitcher when drafted in the first round of the 1981 draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He got to the majors in 1985, and was a mainstay for their bullpen for the next four seasons. He led the majors in 1988 with 76 appearances. In 199 games for the Reds, he struck out 210 in 238 23 innings, with a 3.64 ERA and a solid 1.177 WHIP.

Murphy later played for the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners, the Houston Astros, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Yankees over the next six seasons. Just before the belated start of the 1995 season, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers through free agency. He lasted five innings in L.A., and allowed seven runs. After his release from that organization, the Marlins signed him to a deal.

Murphy wasn’t better for the Marlins, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) in 7 13 innings. He allowed eight hits and walked five, striking five out. Still, he did have one last moment in the sun in one of his last major league appearances. He earned the win in a 12-10, 14 inning affair against the San Francisco Giants on July 18, striking out three in 1 23 innings.

530. Matt Dunbar

Tallahassee, Florida native Matt Dunbar was picked in the 25th round of the 1990 draft by the New York Yankees. A left-handed pitcher, Dunbar played in the Yankees minor league system for five seasons. The Florida Marlins selected him in the 1994 rule 5 draft following the season.

As a rule 5 selectee, the Marlins were required to keep Dunbar on the major league roster for the duration of the season or risk losing him back to the Yankees. As such, he broke camp for the belated 1995 Opening Day with the parent club. He pitched in eight games through the first month of the season, but not once did he pitch an inning without allowing at least two baserunners. In seven innings of work, he allowed 11 walks and a dozen hits, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch as well. He did strike out five, but his 3.286 WHIP proved untenable at the top level of baseball. He was returned to the Yankees on May 25.

Dunbar didn’t make it back to the majors again. The next five years would see him in the minor league systems of the Yanks, the Oakland Athletics, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

529. Benito Báez

Benito Báez is a lefty pitcher and a native of Bonao, Dominican Republic. In October of 1993, he signed his first professional deal with the Oakland Athletics at the age of 16. For the next seven years, he played at a lot of different levels for the A’s, but never made it to the majors for them. After the 2000 season, Oakland granted his free agency.

Two months later, the Marlins signed Báez and kept him the majority of the time at their Triple-A club, the Calgary Cannons. In 49 relief appearances, he was 7-1 with a 3.03 ERA, 56 strikeouts in 59 13 innings, and a 1.011 WHIP. In August, the Marlins gave him a try in the big show.

Báez allowed a hit and struck a batter out in his first appearance, which lasted a third of an inning in a 7-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. The next night, he served up four runs on six hits and two walks in 1 23 innings. He also struck out three.

In the end, Báez appeared in eight games, and pitched 9 13 innings. He allowed 22 hits and walked six for a 3.000 WHIP. He gave up three home runs and struck out 14. He put 143-of-232 pitches over the plate for a 62 percent strike rate. He went 0-for-1 from the plate and took one fielding chance without an error. He spent the next two years in the Marlins minor league system, but didn’t get back to the top level. After a season with the Chattanooga Lookouts for the Cincinnati Reds, he didn’t appear in affiliated ball again.

528. Carlos Mármol

Right-handed pitcher Carlos Mármol, like Báez, is a Bonao, DR native. The Chicago Cubs signed him through free agency in 1999 when he was still just 16-years-old. He debuted with them in 2006, and he pitched in 483 major league contests over eight seasons. He started 13 times in his rookie season, but eventually ended up in the bullpen.

Marmol went 23-32 with 117 saves for the Cubs, striking out 703 in 542 13 innings. He put up a 1.329 WHIP, holding opponents to a .219 average. They sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline in 2013, but he only pitched 21 13 innings for them, with 27 K’s.

Miami signed Marmol prior to 2014 Spring Training. He opened the season in the bullpen, and came into 15 games in relief. He still managed to strike out over a batter per inning, with 14 whiffs in 13 13 innings. Unfortunately, he also walked 10 and gave up 16 hits for a 1.950 WHIP and an 8.10 ERA. His best game with the team was likely on April 12, when he struck out the side and gave up only a walk in a 5-4, 10 inning loss. The Marlins released him on May 19.

Marmol spent some time in the minor league systems of the Reds, the Cleveland Indians, and the Boston Red Sox, but didn’t get back to the major league level.

527. Ross Wolf

Ross Wolf is a right-handed pitcher from Effingham, Illinois. In 2002, the Marlins chose him in the 18th round of the draft out of Wabash Valley College. It took him five years to get to the majors, with stops at every level of the minors in-between.

In 2007, Wolf pitched 46 games in relief for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, going 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA. The Marlins called him up to the majors for the first time in August, and put him in 14 games down the stretch. He went 0-1 with an 11.68 ERA and a 2.189 WHIP. He struck out six and walked three, but also allowed 16 runs in 12 13 innings on 24 hits. The Marlins did not keep Wolf around after the season. He later signed contracts with the Baltimore Orioles, the Athletics, the Houston Astros, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Rangers, getting to the majors with Oakland and Texas.

526. Sterling Sharp

Sterling Sharp is a six-foot-three right-hander from Southfield, Michigan. Born in 1995, he was the Washington Nationals 22nd round pick in 2016.

Sharp didn’t make it to the majors with the Nats, becoming rule 5 draft eligible after the 2019 season. The Marlins picked him, and he opened the 2020 campaign as their number 20 prospect, according to Baseball America.

Sharp’s first two appearances were pretty good. In his first 2 23 innings pitched, he only allowed one hit and zero walks, striking one batter out. On August 17, he gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2 13 innings, hitting a batter and giving up a home run in an 11-4 loss to the New York Mets. Six days later, he allowed another five runs in 13 of an inning on three hits and three walks. On August 27, the Marlins returned Sharp to the Nats, and one month after that, he underwent hip surgery.

Make sure you check back tomorrow as we shift gears to six players per article, and thanks for reading.