Born 41 years ago this week, right-handed hitting Dan Uggla hails from Louisville, Kentucky.
This offseason, Fish Stripes has been going through the 630 players to have appeared with the franchise through their first 28 seasons of major league play. With 612 in the can, we clock in with Dan Uggla at number 18.
We’ll be covering one player per day until Opening Day eve, when we profile the number one player in Marlins history. Players are not ranked based on total overall output, but rather on a bWAR-per plate appearance and/or batter faced. The final 128 players on the list all totaled 800 or more PA/BF with the team. Dan Uggla totaled 15.7 bWAR in his five seasons with the Marlins.
18. Dan Uggla
Dan Uggla was a five-foot-11 second baseman for the University of Memphis at the turn of the century. In his final collegiate season, in 2001, he hit .379/.498/.790 with just over 60 percent of his hits going for extra bases, including 18 home runs in 58 games. The Arizona Diamondbacks chose him in the 11th round of the draft soon after that season, taking him with the 338th overall selection.
Despite Uggla’s eye-popping Division 1 stat line in his final season of college play, he joined the D-Backs as an unrated prospect, and was never ranked in their top 30 through his five seasons in their farm system. After the 2005 season, the Marlins took Uggla in the rule 5 draft.
Uggla’s rookie campaign in 2006 for the Marlins opened some eyes. He earned a selection to the National League All Star Team and finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year Award vote by hitting .282/.339/.480 with 27 round-trippers and 90 RBI. Forty-six times through the year Uggla collected multiple hits, including a five-for-five day on September 11 in a 16-5 victory against the New York Mets. Uggla hit three singles, a double, and a solo home run.
Uggla also struck out 123 times in 2006 for a whiff-rate of 18.01 percent. It would remain a career-best throughout his eventual 10-season major league career. Patience was not a strong suit for Uggla.
But power was. Uggla’s 27 homers in 2006 would be his lowest power output while with the team, as he topped 30 in each of his subsequent four campaigns. In 2007, Uggla’s batting average dipped while his OBP and SLG remained roughly the same, with a .245/.326/.479 slash. Despite the lull, Uggla again totaled a lot of multiple-hit games, with 45.
In 2008, Uggla made the All Star Team for the second tie (of three in total). He hit .260/.360/.514 with a career-most 171 strikeouts and 77 walks, along with 32 dingers and 92 RBI.
This season stands out for several reasons. Mike Jacobs (32), Dan Uggla (32), Hanley Ramirez (33) and Jorge Cantu (29) became the first — and only — MLB infield to have each starter reach at least 25 home runs, according to Elias Sports Bureau. - mlb.com
In 158 games in 2009, he hit .243/.354/.459 with another 31 shots and 90 RBI, and his name is Dan Uggla.
The 2010 campaign would see Uggla collect multiple hits 50 times, winning his first Silver Slugger Award at second base. His slash line was a career-high, nearly across the board, with .287/.369/.508 (he slugged .514 in 2008). On May 4 of his final Marlins season, Uggla earned his highest WPA with the team in a loss, hitting a come-from-behind eighth-inning three-run homer to give the Marlins a 6-5 lead over the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins eventually lost in 12, by a 9-6 final score.
For five years, a Marlins fan could count on Uggla going yard on average once in every five games. Following the 2010 season, Florida traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Mike Dunn (#79) and Omar Infante (#23).
Uggla played another five major league seasons, between the Braves, the Giants, and the Washington Nationals, making the All Star Team for Atlanta in 2012. He struggled to hit after leaving the Marlins, slashing .206/.314/.383 in his post-Florida career, although he still hit another 81 home runs.
Uggla’s five seasons with the Marlins have him second on their all-time leaderboard with 154 homers, and sixth with 363 walks and with 465 RBI. He’s also second with 760 strikeouts.