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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 44

Chapter 44 of the All-Time Marlins countdown features pinch-hit specialist Lenny Harris and Pablo Ozuna.

Miami Marlins v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Throughout the 2020-21 offseason, Fish Stripes is giving the ol’ once over to every player to have appeared in a regular season game with the franchise.

There have been 630 through their first 28 seasons, and we’ve already covered 270 of them.

360. Pablo Ozuna

Pablo Ozuna is a right-handed infielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. And yes, he’s related to that “other” Ozuna—he’s Marcell’s cousin.

Ozuna signed his first professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, at the age of 21. In his first season of play, he made the Dominican Summer League All-Star team at shortstop. The next season, he again made the All-Star team, with the Appalachian League.

It was a pattern that continued into his third season, 1998, when he was named to the Midwest League All-Star Team. In addition to that, he was also named to the Baseball American First Team Minor League All-Star, the MWL Prospect of the Year, and was the MWL Most Valuable Player. All he did was hit .357/.400/.494 with 46 extra-base hits, 62 RBI, and 62 stolen bases. After the season, the Cardinals traded Ozuna to the Marlins with Armando Almanza and Braden Looper for Edgar Renteria.

Devil Rays v Marlins Photo By Eliot Schechter/Getty Images

Despite his awards-laden minor league career to that point, Ozuna had not previously been a “ranked” prospect. That changed in his first season with the Marlins, when he entered the season ranked eighth in all of baseball by Baseball America in 1999. In 2000, he made the Eastern League All-Star team as a second baseman with the Portland Sea Dogs.

Ozuna also made his major league debut in 2000 with Florida, playing in five games in April and going four-for-18 from the plate. Upon rejoining the team in September, he appeared in another nine contests, and sent four-for-six. In his final game of the season, on September 30, he went three-for-four with a double in a 11-5 Marlins victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. A wrist injury sidelined Ozuna for the entirety of the 2001 season.

In 2002, Ozuna spent the majority of the season with the Triple-A Calgary Cannons, hitting .326 in 77 games. He also rejoined the Marlins for another 34 contests, and went 13-for-47 from the plate, with two doubles, two triples, and three RBI. He drew one walk, struck out only three times, and scored four runs with the parent club.

After the 2002 season was completed, Ozuna was traded with Vic Darensbourg, Charles Johnson, and Preston Wilson to the Colorado Rockies for Mike Hampton and Juan Pierre. Ozuna went on to play in another 261 regular season games between the Rockies, the Chicago White Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .281 through his final appearance in 2008.

359. Lenny Harris

By the time Lenny Harris had retired from baseball as a player in 2005, he had played in 1903 games over 18 seasons. Aside from the Marlins, he also played for the Cincinnati Reds (seven seasons), the Los Angeles Dodgers (five seasons), the New York Mets (three seasons), the Arizona Diamondbacks (two seasons), and the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers (one season each). His 212 career pinch-hits remains a major league record.

A Miami, Florida native, Harris was a left-handed batting, right-handed throwing infielder. He began his professional journey when the Reds took him in the fifth round of the 1983 draft out of Miami-Dade College. On August 2, 2003, the Cubs released him, but the Marlins signed him nine days later. It was good timing considering what happened between the two clubs not very long after that.

Florida Marlins v San Francisco Giants Photo by Don Smith /MLB Photos via Getty Images

Harris appeared in 13 games for the Marlins down the stretch that year, 11 of them as a pinch-hitter. He went 4-for-14 with one RBI and three runs scored. He drew three walks and only struck out once. In five postseason games for Florida, Harris went one-for-four with a walk and earned his only World Series ring.

In 2004, Harris inked a one-year deal with the Marlins, and went 20-for-95 with five doubles, a homer, and 17 RBI. He drew three walks, struck out eight times, and scored seven runs. He signed another one-year deal in 2005, and went 22-for-70 in 83 games.

Since retiring, Harris has found employment as a coach. In 2015, he was the Marlins hitting coach and in 2016, he was their bench coach. He’s currently the bench coach for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

358. Tyler Moore

Tyler Moore is a first baseman/left fielder from Brandon, Mississippi. In 2005, 2006, and in 2008, the Washington Nationals chose him in the draft, in the 41st, 33rd, and 16th rounds, respectively. In 2012, he made his major league debut with them, and played parts of the next four years with the parent club.

In 277 major league games for the Nats, Moore hit .228/.281/.401 with 32 doubles, 24 home runs and 91 RBI. He drew 40 walks, struck out 178 times, and scored 58 runs, stealing three bases without getting caught. After spending the 2016 campaign with the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves, Moore was granted free agency.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins via Getty Images

Two months after he checked out of the Braves’ system, Moore signed with the Marlins. He played most of the 2017 season with the club at the major league level, appearing in 104 games. He went 43-for-187 from the plate, with 14 doubles and six round trippers with 30 RBI. He drew 10 walks and struck out 56 times, scoring 17 runs. On May 14, Moore accounted for all of Miami’s offense with a seventh-inning three-run pinch-hit homer to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 3-1. Granted free agency following the season, Moore has not signed with another organization.

357. Craig Grebeck

Craig Grebeck is a five-foot-eight right-handed hitting and throwing infielder from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 1986, he signed his first professional deal with the Chicago White Sox as a 21-year-old.

In 1989, he was named as the Souther League’s “Best Hustler.” Although Grebeck went undrafted, by 1990, he was a “ranked” prospect in the White Sox system, clocking in at number nine. He also debuted with the parent club that season, and played for them at the major league level for the next six seasons. He hit .255 in 414 games, with 12 home runs and 110 RBI. He also drew 135 walks while striking out only 152 times. Chicago granted his free agency on December 21, 1995. On December 22, he was a member of the Florida Marlins.

Grebeck spent one season with the Marlins, going 20-for-95 from the plate with a double, a homer, and nine RBI in 1996. He drew four walks, struck out 14 times, and scored eight runs. Defensively, he appeared mostly at second base, and made two errors in 134 total chances over 203 13 innings for a .985 fielding percentage.

Later, Grebeck spent a season with the Anaheim Angels, three years with the Toronto Blue Jays, and a year with the Boston Red Sox. After his playing days, he was a hitting coach for the Arizona Athletics at the rookie level in 2005 and at the High-A level in 2006 and 2007 for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the Angels system.

356. Brian Banks

Mesa, Arizona native Brian Banks is a switch-hitting right-handed throwing utility infielder/outfielder. In 1989, the Baltimore Orioles spent a 46th round pick on him, but he went to Brigham Young University instead. It paid off, because in 1993, he went to the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round. By 1995, he was a Texas League All Star. In 1996, he was ranked as Milwaukee’s number 10 overall prospect by Baseball America.

Banks debuted in the majors with the Brewers in 1996, and played four seasons at the major league level with them. He hit .245 in 161 contests overall, with eight home runs and 37 RBI. After spending 2000 with Fukuoka in the Japanese League, he started 2001 in the Cubs minor league system. After getting released in May, he signed on with the Marlins.

Mike Lowell high fives Brian Banks Photo By Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

Banks hit .291 with 23 home runs in 101 games for the Calgary Cannons at Miami’s Triple-A level after getting acquired. Although he played most of 2002 with the Cannons, he did join the Marlins for 20 games in September. On September 27, in a 5-2 win over the Phillies, Banks tied the score at two with a solo home run in the fourth, then singled Derrek Lee in for a run in the eighth inning. He went nine-for-28 in the short look.

In 2003, Banks remained with the Marlins for the duration of the season. In 92 games as their utility corner infielder/corner outfielder, he went 35-for-149 with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 23 RBI. He walked 25 times, struck out 38 times, and scored 14 runs. On May 14, in the first game of a doubleheader, Banks fell a double short of the cycle in a 10-3 win against the San Diego Padres. He earned a ring by going one-for-three with a walk in the postseason, as the Marlins took home their second World Series Championship.

In 2004, he played 67 games with the Marlins new Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes.