Throughout the 2020-21 offseason, Fish Stripes is bringing you daily articles as part of the All-Time Marlins Countdown.
We are fast approaching the midpoint of the countdown. You’ve been accustomed to reading these in Kevin Kraczkowski’s style and tone, but today and every Saturday for the foreseeable future, I will be “pinch-hitting” for him. Enjoy...
335. Chris Resop
With their fourth-round pick in the 2001 MLB Draft, the Florida Marlins selected the then-18-year-old Resop. He had signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at the University of Miami, but the Fish convinced him to turn pro with an ample signing bonus.
Resop was a two-way player in high school and the Marlins’ “Plan A” for him was to become an everyday outfielder. But he struggled at the plate in rookie ball—he slashed .124/.194/.146 with a 36.4% strikeout rate during the 2001 season, and even when he repeated the Gulf Coast League in 2002, he went homerless in 100 plate appearances. Resop moved up to the full-season Greensboro affiliate in 2003 where he got reps as both a pitcher and hitter. Beginning in 2004, the Fish specialized him as a reliever only.
During his MLB debut on June 28, 2005, the Braves rocked Resop for four earned runs in 2⁄3 innings. It was by any measure a disappointing rookie campaign—he allowed baserunners in 13 of his 15 appearances (all of them out of the ‘pen). However, he finished on a high note by getting the win against those same Braves with a perfect inning on Oct. 1.
Resop followed that up by making Florida’s 2006 Opening Day roster. He shuttled back and forth between the big leagues and Triple-A. Even though the 6-foot-3 right-hander had solid bottomline results, he earned no style points in the process. Resop’s 1.97 WHIP that year is the highest single-season mark in franchise history for a pitcher who posted an above-average ERA+ (at least 100) with a minimum of 100 batters faced.
The Marlins traded Resop to the Angels the following winter in exchange for Kevin Gregg. Resop would become a journeyman from there, finding his best success with the 2010-2012 Pirates.
After retiring from baseball, Resop went into the real estate business with his wife, Kara. They settled down in their shared hometown of Naples, FL.
334. Chris O’Grady
Left-hander Chris O’Grady came excruciatingly close to reaching the majors with the Reds in 2016, making eight relief appearances for them in spring training as a Rule 5 Draft pick. Alas, at the end of camp, they returned O’Grady to the Angels. Shortly before his 27th birthday in April 2017, he was released.
The Marlins scooped up O’Grady in May on a minor league deal. Not coincidentally, they did so within days of losing both Edinson Vólquez and Wei-Yin Chen to injuries. O’Grady reported to Triple-A New Orleans, gradually stretched out his arm to handle a starter’s workload and went on a midseason hot streak. Finally, he received a call-up on Jul. 8.
His Marlins pitch mix relied heavily on cutters and four-seam fastballs with occasional changeups and curveballs.
O’Grady’s lone month in the rotation will likely prove to be the peak of his career. He suffered an oblique strain in his sixth start (Aug. 7 vs. Nationals). He made it back to The Show in late September, but only as a middle reliever. Entering 2018, he was leapfrogged on the depth chart by the likes of Trevor Richards and newcomer Caleb Smith. Then, he suffered a left shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery.
He has been a free agent for the last two years.
333. Rich Scheid
Rich Scheid took part in the first-ever Marlins major league spring training. He spent that inaugural 1993 regular season as an innings-eater with their Triple-A affiliate. But in 1994, the left-hander contributed at the highest level, pitching eight games (five starts) during July and August.
Scheid’s already-limited role was reduced even more in 1995—he worked exclusively out of the bullpen and typically when the Fish were trailing.
According to his Twitter bio, Scheid now works in technology sales and lives in Central, NJ.
332. Corey Dickerson
He isn’t the first name that comes to mind, but Corey Dickerson was quietly among the best left-handed-hitting outfielders of the 2010s. The main knock against him? Durability.
The Marlins were undeterred, agreeing with Dickerson on a two-year, $17.5 million contract in the middle of the 2019-20 offseason. It represented their largest financial commitment to any player since the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter ownership group arrived.
Due to the pandemic-shortened MLB season, Dickerson’s 2020 salary was pro-rated from $8M to about $3M. It’s no exaggeration to say that he gave the Marlins their money’s worth with one swing in the NL Wild Card Series.
The 31-year-old Dickerson stayed healthy for the Fish, starting 56 of their 65 total regular season and playoff games. That being said, he fell short of expectations. A career .286/.328/.504 hitter (117 wRC+) prior to 2020, his Miami production paled in comparison (.258/.311/.402, 95 wRC+). He was also strangely ineffective with runners in scoring position—.186/.286/.186 in 49 PA—and mistaken-prone defensively.
All indications are that Dickerson will open the 2021 campaign with the Marlins, but considering the numerous talented, younger, cheaper outfield alternatives within the organization, it is difficult to imagine his tenure lasting beyond that.
331. Randy Veres
The late Randy Veres was called up by the Marlins on May 10, 1995 and caught fire immediately. Thirteen of his first 15 appearances that season were scoreless—1.50 earned run average in those 18 innings—punctuated by his first Marlins save on Jun. 7.
From there, though, his strikeout rate plummeted and his batting average on balls in play normalized. Bad combination.
One year after signing with the Marlins in free agency, the right-hander was traded to the Tigers for infielder Matt Brunson, who never progressed above the High-A level.