The Florida and Miami Marlins have had 630 players take the field during a regular season game through their first 28 seasons.
In our All-Time Marlins Countdown series, we’re touching on each of them in turn. We’ve already looked at 510 of them, and we got another three today.
We’re currently in the final PA/BF bracket, comprised of players with over 800 plate transactions. Today’s group of three players all came in slightly below replacement level.
120. Brian Meadows
Montgomery, Alabama native Brian Meadows is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher. In 1994, the Marlins took him in the third round out of high School. He opened the following year as the Marlins number six prospect, according to Baseball America.
In 1997, in a full season in the Portland Sea Dogs rotation, Meadows went 9-7 with a 4.61 ERA through an Eastern League-leading 29 starts. He opened the following year as the Marlins number five starter, and took 31 turns in the rotation. He had 11 Quality Starts, and struck out 88 in 174 1⁄3 innings while walking 46.
Meadows put 64 percent of his pitches over the plate, but allowed opponents to slash a robust .315/.358/.465. On June 2, in Meadows’ best start for the Marlins, he struck out five and allowed two hits (including a solo homer) over eight innings, but earned no decision in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He went 11-13 with a 5.21 ERA.
In 1999, Meadows again took 31 turns in the rotation for the Marlins. He went 11-15 with a 5.60 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 178 1⁄3 innings, keeping opponents to a .302/.354/.505 mark at the plate. After the season, Florida traded him to the San Diego Padres for Dan Miceli.
Meadows played seven seasons of major league baseball after his time with the Marlins, playing for the Kansas City Royals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after his half-season with the Padres. He closed his career with a 47-62 record and a 5.05 ERA.
119. Chris Coghlan
Chris Coghlan is a six-foot lefty-batting, righty-throwing left fielder from Rockville, Maryland. In 2003, the Arizona Diamondbacks chose him in the 18th round out of high school. Instead of signing, he joined the University of Mississippi for three seasons of collegiate ball. In 189 games for the Rebels, he slashed out a .339/.417/.483 line with 13 homers and 131 RBI.
Coghlan gambling away a measly 18th round pick was a good gamble, as the Marlins took him in the first round in 2006, 36th overall off the board. He opened the 2007 campaign as the Marlins number nine prospect, according to Baseball America. In 2008, he ranked second in the Southern League with 34 stolen bases for the Carolina Mudcats.
In 2009, Coghlan played in 128 games for the Marlins in his major league debut, and put together a .321/.390/.460 slash line with 31 doubles, six triples, and nine homers. He knocked in 47 RBI and stole eight bases. Coghlan drew 53 walks and struck out 77 times, and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Fifty-one times through his rookie season, Coghlan collected multiple hits, including 15 three-hit games. Batting mostly leadoff in the order, his offensive contribution was considerable, especially when taking into account his negative defensive impact in left field. He made five errors and fielded at a .977 clip, and was 19 DRS below the NL average left-fielder.
In 2010, Coghlan suffered maybe the most embarrassing baseball injury possible. He tore the meniscus in his left knee in a shaving-cream pie incident, in a post-game celebration.
Coghlan played another four seasons for the Marlins, including one season after their name-change from Florida to Miami. After his rookie campaign, he racked up a .242/.307/.352 line with another dozen homers and 70 RBI, with 19 more stolen bases.
118. Dennis Springer
Dennis Springer is a five-foot-10 right-handed pitcher from Fresno, California. In 1987, the Los Angeles Dodgers took him in the 21st round of the draft out of California State University-Fresno.
Springer took eight seasons of minor league “seasoning” before he made his way to the majors, in 1995 with the Philadelphia Phillies at the age of 30. Through eight major league seasons, he played for six teams. In addition to the Phillies, he also played two seasons for the California/Anaheim Angels and the Dodgers, and a season each for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Marlins, and the New York Mets.
Springer spent 1999 in Florida’s rotation, making 29 starts and coming out of the bullpen an additional nine times. He went 6-16 with a 4.86 ERA and 83 whiffs in 196 1⁄3 innings, with a 1.503 WHIP. He threw pitches for strikes 61 percent of the time, and held opponents to a .303/.358/.463 slashline.
On June 4, Springer struck out five and pitched a shutout for a 10-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. On July 21, he had his best outing for the Marlins, outdueling Atlanta Braves ace Greg Maddux. Both pitchers went the distance, but Springer tossed a shutout while Maddux allowed two runs. Springer struck out three, while walking two and giving up seven hits.
Thanks for reading. Check back here tomorrow for Chapter 102, featuring three more Marlins pitchers.