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2021 Marlins Season Review: Magneuris Sierra

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Evaluating the ups and downs of Sierra’s final season in Miami.

The Phillie Phanatic jokes around with Magneuris Sierra #34 of the Miami Marlins prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Magneuris Sierra had the distinction of being the only position player to spend the entire 2021 season on the Marlins active roster. And yet, there were extended periods when it was easy to forget he even existed.

2021 Timeline

  • April 24: made first start of the regular season (had been benched or used as substitute in previous 20 games)
  • July 25: recorded first RBI of the regular season
  • November 3: cleared waivers, outrighted to Triple-A Jacksonville
  • November 7: elected minor league free agency

By The Numbers

Magneuris Sierra’s MLB stats, comparing the 2021 season to his full career FanGraphs

Just 35 complete games for Sierra in 162 opportunities. There were eight other times when he started but was replaced by a pinch-hitter and eighty instances of him entering off the bench as a sub.

You may recall a legitimate hot stretch he had in 2020, driven by newfound selectivity at the plate. Unfortunately, he reverted back to some bad habits this year, chasing out of the zone more often and not making nearly as much contact on those swings.

Sierra did not record more than three total bases in any game. He is MLB’s active leader among position players for most career plate appearances (540) without a home run. Sierra, David Fletcher and John Nogowski were the only batters in 2021 with 100-plus batted balls yet zero barrels, as defined by Statcast. He was incapable of collecting any RBIs until after the All-Star break!

Most advanced metrics were fond of Sierra’s outfield defense, particular Defensive Runs Saved. He accumulated 7 DRS in 432 innings with contributions from both his throwing arm (three runs above average) and his range (four runs above average).

Sierra, who used to have exceptional speed, is now merely great in that regard. Since his MLB debut season, he has noticeably declined in terms of Sprint Speed (from 30.6 to 28.9 ft/sec) and home-to-first time (from 3.91 to 4.04 sec).

Highlights!

Will Magneuris Sierra Be Back in 2022?

As much as some Marlins higher-ups may have loved Sierra, outrighting him off the 40-man roster was the obvious business move to make. He would’ve otherwise been due a pay raise in his first trip through the arbitration process, which cannot be justified for a replacement-level player with such glaring limitations. The Fish patiently waited four years for Mags to produce more quality contact, but he didn’t oblige. Frankly, they should’ve pulled the plug on this experiment earlier.

Entering his age-26 season, the Dominican outfielder figures to draw some free agent interest among MLB teams as a non-roster invitee to spring training. The Marlins are unlikely to be one of those suitors—they have organizational players of the same archetype in Brian Miller and Víctor Víctor Mesa.

I have trouble imagining Sierra playing 123 games in an MLB season ever again, but he should resurface for brief stretches.