There have been 630 players take the field for the Florida and Miami Marlins through their first 28 seasons.
In today’s article, the 23rd such in our 165-part offseason-long series, we focus on another six players who logged between 20 and 74 plate appearances/batters faced. Each of the players listed today came in slightly below replacement level.
483. Braxton Garrett
Braxton Garrett was Miami’s first round pick in 2016, seventh overall off the board out of Florence, AL. A Foley, AL native, Garrett showed promise in his professional debut in four starts for the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2017, pitching to a 2.93 ERA and striking out 16 in 15 1⁄3 innings. After his final start, it was revealed that Garrett would need to undergo Tommy John surgery to continue his playing career.
In 2019, Garrett returned to the field of play for the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, for whom he started 20 games and went 6-6. He posted a 3.34 ERA and struck out 118 in 105 frames, putting up a decent 1.23 WHIP in the process. A quick look at Double-A with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp didn’t yield the same results, but it was a small sample size.
The 2020 season introduced new and unprecedented challenges to the Marlins in the form of a near-team-wide COVID-19 epidemic. Garrett did not receive the call to join the team like so many of his contemporaries in the Marlins alternate training site during the quarantine, but he did start a pair of games for Miami near the end of the season.
In Garrett’s first start, on September 13 in the second game of a double-header against the Philadelphia Phillies, he struck out six and surrendered only one run in five innings of work, on three hits and a pair of walks. Garrett earned the 8-1 victory by putting 46-of-75 pitches over the plate including this wicked curve.
Garrett’s second appearance wasn’t as good. A week later in another doubleheader game-two, he started against the Washington Nationals and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits and three walks in only 2 2⁄3 frames as the Marlins dropped a 15-0 decision. Garrett is expected to compete for an Opening Day rotation spot in 2021.
482. Bob McClure
Oakland, California native Bob McClure was originally drafted in the third round of the 1973 draft by the Kansas City Royals. A lefty-throwing and righty-hitting pitcher, McClure made his major league debut with the Royals two seasons later.
It was a long and winding road that led McClure to the Marlins. Prior to joining the inaugural version of the new Florida team, he enjoyed an 18-season major league career. He played for the Royals, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Montreal Expos, the New York Mets, the California Angels, and the St. Louis Cardinals. On December 15, 1992, at the age of 40, McClure signed a free agent deal to play for the burgeoning team.
McClure appeared in 14 contests for the Marlins, striking out six in 6 1⁄3 innings. He also allowed 13 hits and walked five for a deadly 2.84 WHIP. He didn’t make any plate appearances and had one fielding assist without an error. On April 28, he earned the victory by successfully retiring the only batter he faced in a 3-1 win against the Atlanta Braves. The decision in his favor places him in a 48-way tie for 191st on the Marlins all-time pitching victory list.
481. Rafael Furcal
Rafael Furcal is a 14-season major league veteran, a three-time National League All Star, and the 2000 N.L. Rookie of the Year. A switch-hitting shortstop from Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, he signed his first professional deal in 1996 at the age of 19 with the Atlanta Braves.
Furcal played six seasons with the Braves ending in 2005, hitting .284 with 57 home runs and 292 RBI. He followed that with another six seasons playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, during which he hit .283 with 44 round-trippers and 228 RBI. He joined the St. Louis Cardinals from the second half of 2011 through 2012, his third and final All Star season at the age of 34. He underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2013, missing the entire season. On December 8, he signed on with the Marlins through free agency.
The 2014 season would see Furcal spend most of his time on the disabled list with left hamstring problems. He got up to the majors in mid-June with the Marlins and played in nine games in nine days. He went 6-for-35 with a triple and two RBI. He drew a pair of walks and struck out seven times. In the field, he handled 32 chances cleanly in 71 innings at second base.
After spending 2015 in the minor league system for the Kansas City Royals, Furcal retired.
480. Christian Colón
Cayey, Puerto Rico native Christian Colón was a first round pick of the Royals in 2010 out of Canyon HS in Anaheim, California. A 5-foot-10 right-handed hitting and throwing infielder, Colón made his major league debut with Kansas City in 2014. In parts of four seasons at the major league level, he hit .263/.323/.329 in 125 games, with one home run and 25 RBI. On May 16, the Marlins had the opportunity to claim him off waivers from the Royals.
Colón joined the Marlins at the major league level after being claimed, and played in 17 of their next 30 games, mostly at second and third base. He went 5-for-33 with a double and no RBI, drawing four walks and striking out seven times. Miami went 9-8 in games in which Colón appeared, despite his substandard performance at the plate. In the field, he took 28 chances cleanly in 84 2⁄3 innings, showing above average range in the process.
Colón was sent down to join the New Orleans Baby Cakes at the Triple-A level in June, where he remained for the duration of the campaign. He hit .302 in 49 contests for them, and the Marlins granted his free agency following the season.
479. Joe Dillon
Joe Dillon was a seventh round choice of the Royals in 1997 out of Texas Tech University. A six-foot-two right-handed throwing and batting second baseman and left-fielder, Dillon played five season in Kansas City’s minor league system before getting drafted via the rule 5 in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins released Dillon before the 2003 season, and it took a full year before he resigned with a major league club. As luck would have it, that turned out to be the Marlins. He played the full 2004 campaign in the Marlins minor leagues.
Dillon played most of the 2005 season with the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, playing in 98 games and hitting .360/.459/.631 with 24 homers and 72 RBI. In May, he joined the Marlins for the first of two call ups. In 27 games at the major league level for Florida, Dillon went six-for-36 from the plate, with a double and one home run for his only RBI. He scored six times and drew one walk, striking out eight times.
Dillon appeared in most of his games with the Marlins as a pinch hitter, only starting three times at second base. In relief, he played left field, and both corner infield positions. In 20 total chances, he made one error playing second base. Dillon was purchased by the Yomiura Giants after the 2005 season.
Dillon returned to the states in 2006, resigning with the Marlins but getting released during spring training. He later appeared at the major league level with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays.
478. Eddy Alvarez
Miami native Eddy Alvarez took the road less traveled to get to the major leagues, taking a major detour which would find him winning a silver medal in speed skating for the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In June, 2014, at the age of 24, Alvarez, an infielder, signed his first professional deal through free agency with the Chicago White Sox. He played five seasons in their minor league system before the Marlins purchased his contract from Chicago after 2019 Spring Training.
In 66 games for the Marlins with the Baby Cakes in 2019, Alvarez hit .323/.407/.570 with a dozen home runs and 43 RBI. He also stole 12-of-15 bases.
The complete lack of a minor league system in 2020 left nowhere for a lot of high-minor leaguers to play. The Marlins specific problem, however, opened the door for Alvarez’ major league debut. He joined the team for a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles on August 5, going 0-for-5.
In a dozen games for the Marlins all told, Alvarez went seven-for-37 with a double and a pair of RBI. He drew three walks, stole two bases, and scored six runs, also striking out 16 times. Defensively, Alvarez played 62 1⁄3 innings at second, 18 innings at third, and nine at shortstop. He took 23 chances cleanly in total for a career 1.000 fielding percentage.