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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 22

Here’s the 22nd part of our 165-part offseason-long series on every player to appear with the Miami Marlins, featuring Brian Moran and Monte Harrison, amongst others.

Miami Marlins v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Marlins have had 630 players come and go through their 28 season history in the major leagues. Some of them are even still here.

Today’s feature is focused on six more players from the brWAR category. That is, these players were below replacement level. All have had between 20 and 74 PA/BF while a member of the Marlins at the major league level.

489. Brian Moran

Brian Moran is a six-foot-four left-handed pitcher from Port Chester, New York. Initially drafted in round nine of the 2009 draft by the Seattle Mariners, Moran took 10 seasons to get to the major leagues for the first time.

Before getting to the top level, Moran bounced around in a lot of different minor league systems aside from the Mariners. He also appeared in the systems of the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies as well as in the Atlantic League with the Bridgeport Bluefish. After the 2018 season, Moran signed with the Marlins through free agency.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On September 5, Moran made his first major league appearance, pitching the fourth inning in an eventual 10-7 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Notably, Moran’s first ever strikeout in the majors was his younger brother, Colin, playing third base for the Bucs. The elder Moran earned the victory in his debut despite hitting a batter.

Moran appeared in another nine games for the Marlins through the end of the season, striking out 10 in 6 13 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits and two walks. After a pair of games for the Toronto Blue Jays after the belated start to the season, he returned to the Marlins.

Moran played in five games for Miami in August, but did not have nearly the success of the season just passed. Although he struck out seven in 4 23 innings, he also had an ERA north of nine after giving up five runs on six hits and as many walks. In 10 total innings for the Marlins on the hill, Moran only handled one fielding chance, making an assist without incident.

488. Monte Harrison

Miami Marlins v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Although he came highly heralded, Monte Harrison made his major league debut for the Marlins in 2020 to mixed results. Notwithstanding, the guy made things happen on the base paths. Attempting to go from first to third on a bunt, scoring from first on a single (later ruled a double, but it was really a single), and stealing six bases without getting caught. Harrison was a big part of the Marlins speed resurgence in 2020, along with Jon Berti, Magneuris Sierra, Jonathan Villar, Starling Marte, and Lewis Brinson.

Harrison, who was a legitimate three-sport star at Lee’s Summit West HS in his hometown, was the second round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014. In the six seasons since, he’s consistently been ranked in his respective team’s top 30 prospects, and entered 2018 as the number 71 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. In January of that year, he was traded to the Marlins from the Brewers, along with Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, and Jordan Yamamoto.

Fish Stripes original GIF

When Harrison made his earlier-than-expected debut due to a COVID-19 ravaged squad, he ended up striking out in over half of his plate appearances, 26 times out of 51, in fact. He went eight-for-47 with a double, a home run, and three RBI, drawing four walks and appearing in 32 games in total. Defensively, he handled himself as advertised, handling 42 chances without an error through 125 13 outfield innings.

Although Harrison rated as somewhat below-replacement-level, a little more work on his swing could change the story when it’s all said and done.

487. Gil Velazquez

Gil Velazquez is a right-handed infielder from Los Angeles. In 1998, the New York Mets took him in round 14 out of Paramount HS.

It took 10 seasons in the minor leagues, but Velazquez finally got to the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox in 2008. He went one-for-10 over nine games covering two seasons, then didn’t resurface in the majors until 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels. He was three-for-six in four games for them.

Before the commencement of the 2012 campaign, Velazquez signed with the Marlins through free agency. He played 110 games at the Triple-A level with the New Orleans Zephyrs, where he hit .312/.391/.384 with four homers and 42 RBI. He was called up to join Miami for two games in August, then joined the team for the duration of the season in mid-September.

In the six games between September 21 and 27, Velazquez went 9-for-22, with multiple hits in four of them. Overall he was 13-for-56 with a double and two RBI, with one walk and 11 strikeouts. Defensively, he made two errors in 49 chances for Miami at third base, over 137 23 innings for a .959 fielding percentage.

486. Rich Garcés

Maracay, Venezuela native Rich Garcés is a right-handed pitcher. In 1987, he signed his first professional contract with the Minnesota Twins while still just 16-years-old. Three years later he made his first appearance, and eventually pitched 9 23 innings at the major league level for them.

In 1995, Garcés opened the season with the Chicago Cubs organization, and in 11 innings at the top level he struck out six while allowing 14 baserunners. Not good enough for the Cubs front office, who waived him on August 9. The Marlins gladly gave him a shot.

Garcés pitched in 11 games for Florida after his acquisition, putting 55 percent of his pitches over the plate. In 13 13 innings of work, he struck out 16 and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 14 hits and eight walks. His 3.48 FIP suggests that maybe Garcés was the victim of bad fielding luck.

Whatever the case, the Marlins cut ties with Garcés after the season. He signed on with the Boston Red Sox, and pitched for them at the major league level for the next seven years.

485. Willie Fraser

New York City native Willie Fraser was a first round pick of the California Angels in 1985. A right-handed pitcher, Fraser debuted with the Angels in 1986, and played in 160 games for them through 1990, including 56 starts. He went 31-34 with five saves, a 4.26 ERA, a 1.305 WHIP, and struck out 272 in 543 13 innings.

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After the 1990 season, Fraser was traded with Marcus Moore and Devon White (wait for Chapter 152 for more on him) to the Toronto Blue Jays for Junior Felix, Luis Sojo, and Ken Rivers. Between the Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals later in the season, he pitched 75 23 innings and went 3-5 with a 5.35 ERA.

It would be almost three calendar years before Fraser returned to the majors with Florida in 1994. He pitched in nine games for the Marlins, allowing 20 hits and six walks in 12 13 frames. He struck out seven and surrendered nine runs (eight earned).

Despite Fraser’s middling stats for the Marlins, he posted a 2-0 record while with the team. His best appearance was on June 10, when he pitched two hitless innings in a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh. Fraser closed out his career with 22 appearances in 1995 for the Montreal Expos.

484. Craig Breslow

Craig Breslow is a left-handed pitcher out of New Haven, Connecticut. In 2002, the Brewers took him in round 26 out of Yale University.

Breslow made his major league debut with the San Diego Padres in 2005, and also pitched for the Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Twins, the Oakland Athletics, and the Arizona Diamondbacks before landing with the Marlins. In his pre-Miami career, he was 22-27 with eight saves in 524 relief appearances, with 412 whiffs in 521 13 innings.

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Breslow signed with the Marlins through free agency just before Spring Training in 2016. He opened the season with the Marlins at the major league level, and appeared in 15 of Miami’s first 32 contests. Sixty-five percent of his 210 pitches were over the plate, and he wound up with a 4.50 ERA in 14 innings of work. He gave up seven earned runs and struck out as many, but also allowed 21 hits and four walks. Sent down to the Zephyrs, he spent the next two months at Triple-A, pitching to a 6.46 ERA in 14 games, striking out 29 batters in 23 23 innings.

Released by the Marlins on July 18, Breslow later signed through free agency with the Texas Rangers, the Twins, the Indians, and the Blue Jays. He has been a free agent since the close of the 2018 season.