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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 18

Lewin Díaz makes an appearance in the 18th part of our offseason-long series.

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Through their first 28 seasons, the Florida and Miami Marlins have seen 630 players take the field during a regular season game.

The methodology I used for this thought experiment involved certain thresholds of minimum plate appearances/batters faced. I set those thresholds at 20, 75, 250, and 800. The five distinct groups of players were then ranked based on brWAR divided by PA/BF and ordered from lowest to highest. The six players featured in today’s story is from the second group, between 20 and 74 PA/BF. By the measure used to order these players, each was slightly more valuable than the last in the list on a per-PA/BF basis.

513. Matt Dominguez

Right-handed third baseman and Los Angeles native Matt Dominguez was a first round selection of the Marlins in 2007. Four years later, as the top overall prospect in the organization, he hit .258/.312/.431 and hit a dozen homers with 55 RBI in 87 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs at the Triple-A level. When the rosters expanded in September, the Marlins called him up for his first look at the top level.

On September 10, in his fourth career game, Dominguez went three-for-four in a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 17 games in total, he went 11-for-45 from the plate with four doubles and two RBI. In 122 innings in the field at third base, he handled 29 chances and made a pair of errors for a lower-than-acceptable .931 fielding percentage. Still, it was a pretty small sample size.

Dominguez started the 2012 campaign back with the Zephyrs and remained there until July 4, when the Marlins traded him to the Houston Astros for Carlos Lee. In three seasons with the Astros, he slashed .233/.274/.376 with 42 round-trippers and 150 RBI. He last appeared in five games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016.

512. Joe Siddall

Joe Siddall is a left-handed batting, right-handed throwing catcher from Windsor, Ontario. He signed his first professional deal in 1987 with the Montreal Expos, at the age of 19. Six years later he made his major league debut with them north of the corner, and went two-for-20 in 19 contests. He returned for another look while still with the Expos in 1995, and got four hits, including three doubles, in 14 plate appearances. Thanks to three walks, his OBP was .500 in the short-sample-sized call-up.

The Expos granted Siddall free agency after the season ended, and he signed with the Marlins just after Thanksgiving. He played most of the season with Florida’s Triple-A club, the Charlotte Knights. In 65 games, he hit .280/.330/.407 with 20 RBI. The Marlins called Siddall up to join the team for the month of August.

Siddall started out his Marlins major league tenure with hits in five of his first seven games, but not much after that offensively. Overall, he was seven-for-47 with a double and three RBI. He drew a pair of walks and struck out eight times. Defensively, Siddall handled 116 innings behind the dish, taking care of 86-of-88 chances cleanly for a .977 fielding percentage. He threw out 6-of-18 runners trying to steal, and only passed one ball. The Marlins gave Siddall his free agency after the season.

Siddall signed back with the Expos for 1997, but didn’t get back to the bigs. In 1998 he signed with the Detroit Tigers, and ended up playing a career high 29 games.

511. Destin Hood

Mobile native Destin Hood is a six-foot-two left-fielder. In 2008, the Washington Nationals chose him in the second round of the 2008 draft out of high school. In 2009, he was ranked as the Nats number seven prospect according to Baseball America. While playing for the Double-A Potomac Nationals in 2011, he ranked in the Carolina League top 10 in many categories, including 83 RBI, which placed him third in the circuit.

Despite Hood’s grasp of hitting at the high-minor league level, he didn’t make it to the majors in seven seasons playing in Washington’s system. They granted his free agency after the 2014 campaign. Hood played 2015 in the minors for the Cleveland Indians and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins signed him in November of that year.

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

Hood played two seasons in Miami’s system, mostly for the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs/Baby Cakes. At the end of the 2016 season, when the rosters expanded, the Marlins finally called Hood up for his first look at the top level of baseball. In his debut on September 2, he went two-for-four against the Indians as the Marlins dropped a 6-2 decision. He then went two-for-17 over his next 11 appearances. Hood finished the season with another two-for-four game, including his first homer and first two RBI in a 10-7 loss to Washington.

After the Marlins released Hood following the 2017 season, he spent 2018 with the Texas Rangers minor leagues. He has yet to return to the majors.

510. Nate Teut

Nate Teut is a six-foot-seven left-handed pitcher from Newton, Iowa. In 1997, the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the fourth round out of Paton-Churdan HS. He topped out with the Cubs in 2001, when he went 13-8 for their Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. He posted a 5.12 ERA in 29 starts, with a 1.51 WHIP and 125 K’s in 167 innings.

After that, the Cubs traded Teut to the Marlins for pitcher Jesús Sánchez. Most of the 2002 season was spent by Teut at the Triple-A level, playing for the Calgary Cannons. He appeared in 27 games, starting 19 of them and going 5-6 with a 5.28 ERA. He also had a 1.59 WHIP and threw 12 wild pitches. Nonetheless, the Marlins found themselves in need of his services at the major league level on May 4 for a spot-start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Teut struck out three in 4 13 innings, but also gave up five earned runs on eight hits and a walk as the Marlins dropped one to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-4. In his second and final appearance for the Marlins, nearly two months later, he pitched three innings of relief and gave up another three runs on five hits and two walks as the Marlins lost to the Phillies, 7-3.

The Marlins released Teut soon after the 2003 season started, and he signed on with the Cubs. He later also signed with the Brewers, but he never got back to the majors aside from his brief tenure with the Fish.

509. John Maine

John Maine is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 2002, the Baltimore Orioles chose him in the sixth round of the draft out of the University of North Carolina. In 2003, he was named to the Baseball America Minor League 2nd All-Star Team after going a combined 13-4 in 26 starts between the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds and the High-A Frederick Keys. By 2004, he was considered the number 54 prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He made his debut in the majors that year, starting one game and losing by allowing four runs in 3 23 innings. He walked three and gave up seven hits.

After a slightly-below-average season for the Orioles in 2005, Baltimore traded Maine with Jorge Julio (read about him in Chapter 14) to the New York Mets for Kris Benson. Maine spent most of the next five seasons in the Mets’ rotation, starting in 96 of his 97 appearances. He was a 39-32 pitcher, with a 4.17 ERA, a 1.312 WHIP, and 467 strikeouts in 542 innings. The Mets granted his free agency following the 2010 campaign.

Maine signed contracts and played in the minor leagues for the next two seasons between the Colorado Rockies, the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees, but did not get back to the majors while with them. After the 2012 season, the Marlins took a flyer on him.

Maine started the 2013 season in the Marlins bullpen, three years removed from his latest major league action. He made four appearances for the Marlins, but it didn’t go too well. He surrendered 15 hits and five walks in 7 13 innings for 10 earned runs, striking out seven. He didn’t figure into any decisions, but the Marlins went 0-4 in his outings. Miami released him on April 22. He didn’t again appear in affiliated ball.

508. Lewin Díaz

Fish Stripes original GIF

Lewin Díaz is a six-foot-four left-handed first baseman from Santiago, Dominican Republic. He signed his first professional deal in 2013 with the Minnesota Twins at the age of 16. By 2018, he was considered the number 10 prospect in their system.

Díaz worked his way up through the Twins system, peaking at the Double-A level in 2019 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Southern League. Just prior to the trade deadline in 2019, the Twins traded him to the Marlins for Sergio Romo and prospect Chris Vallimont. Díaz finished out the season in the same league, only with the Marlins affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. In 31 games he hit just .200, but he also served up eight round-trippers and 14 RBI.

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Miami’s late-start and COVID-19 depleted roster gave Díaz an unexpected early shot at the majors, and he made his debut with the Marlins on August 15 as a pinch hitter with two out in the ninth inning and trailing the Atlanta Braves, 2-1. He singled into right field off closer Mark Melancon to keep the Marlins alive, but Matt Joyce flew out to end it.

Of course, Díaz’ perfect batting average didn’t last. In 14 games, he went six-for-39 with two doubles and three RBI. He drew two walks and struck out 12 times. In 85 innings of defensive work at first base, he made 88 putouts and six assists without an error, helping to turn 10 double plays. Díaz was optioned to the Marlins alternate site on September 10.

Thanks for reading. Check back tomorrow for the 19th part of the series, featuring Don Kelly and Logan Forsythe.