When you’re rebuilding and you’ve been a low-market team for years, you need to make bets from time to time. And what are these bets about? Well, it’s about finding “gems” on the open market (or other teams) or affordable players that will bring you an acceptable production.
Sometimes, those “bets” end up being a massive success. And that’s when the Marlins get into the conversation. Not only has Miami found pretty reliable relievers at a bargain price, but it also has brought in two hitters that have cruised offensively over the course of the season for less than $10 million combined.
Those are Jesús Aguilar and Adam Duvall. The former has 15 doubles, 15 home runs, and 80 total hits through 85 games, along with 62 runs batted in. The latter, despite a low .234 batting average, has collected nine doubles, one triple, 19 four-baggers, and also 62 ribbies. This impressive production has come to the Marlins for $9.3 million.
I’m not even trying to compare Aguilar or Duvall to Mookie Betts. But just for you to have a reference, Betts—arguably one of the best players in the game—is making $17.5MM and got to Sunday’s game with 12 home runs and 37 driven in. Depending on your perspective, it could be a reason to appreciate Duvall and Aguilar even more.
In fact, the Marlins are one of only four teams in baseball (and two in the National League) to reach the All-Star break having more than one player with at least 15 dingers and 60 runs batted in. The other ones...
- Los Ángeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani / Jared Walsh
- Boston Red Sox: Rafael Devers / JD Martínez
- San Diego Padres: Manny Machado / Fernando Tatís Jr.
- Miami Marlins: Jesús Aguilar / Adam Duvall
This is possible, of course, because Aguilar offensively led the Marlins to a 7-4 victory over the Braves on Sunday, with his 15th bomb of the season and four RBIs (59-62).
Another important statistic about them is that they combine for 37% of the Marlins’ runs batted in throughout the season. That is, 124 out of 334 driven in for the Fish.
Both got to the All-Star break with pretty good projections for the end of the season. For Duvall, numbers say he could hit 35 home runs and finish with 113 RBIs. For Aguilar, it’s 27 home runs and the same 113 runs produced.
If they both remain on the team after the MLB trade deadline (July 30) and fulfill those projections, it’d be just the third time in Marlins’ history that a couple of players registers at least 27 home runs and 113 ribbies apiece. In 2005, Carlos Delgado and Miguel Cabrera did so, while Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton repeated the feat in 2017.