It was twenty years ago when the Marlins had their only first overall pick in MLB Draft history. On June 5, 2000, Florida selected Eastlake first baseman Adrián González making him the first high school infielder to be picked No. 1 since Alex Rodríguez in 1993.
That was an obvious selection for the Fish. González was a 6-foot-2, left-handed-hitting prospect with a sweet, smooth swing who had hit .645 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI during his senior season.
Marlins scouting director Al Ávila—now Tigers GM—called A-Gon “the best hitting prospect available in this year’s draft,” so he didn’t hesitate about him.
During his time as a Marlin, González was everything the organization could have hoped for. From 2000 to 2003, he raked in the minors with 36 dingers and 270 runs driven in across 401 games.
But unfortunately, he didn’t play a game for the Marlins in the Major Leagues. Before turning into a Gold Glover, a Silver Slugger winner, and a five-time All-Star, González was traded to the Rangers in 2003 along with OF Will Smith and LHP Ryan Snare. Florida received righty closer Ugueth Urbina.
González appeared in 59 games with the Rangers before going to the Padres on another trade. He exploded immediately and became an everyday man in the heart of San Diego’s offensive order for years. From 2006 to 2010, the California native averaged 35 doubles, 32 home runs, and 100 ribbies per season. The only Marlin to have a campaign like that over that span was Miguel Cabrera (2007).
Even though the Marlins might’ve lost big-time production after González’s departure to Texas, they got exactly what they needed out of Urbina. The Venezuelan became a reliable arm for manager Jack McKeon and was good for a 0.94 WHIP and a 1.41 ERA in 38 1⁄3 innings.
But Urbina was even more important in the Marlins run to the World Series. He registered a 3.46 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 10 appearances (13 frames) from the National League Division Series to the Fall Classic. In the end, the righty played a huge role in capturing the Marlins’ second World Series trophy in history.
As successful as González was over the course of his 15 MLB seasons, he didn’t exactly haunt his original team in head-to-head matchups—his .716 career OPS in 74 games versus the Marlins was his lowest against any National League opponent.