The Mount Rushmore of the Florida Marlins

Josh Johnson / Presswire

Here’s another toughie, as most of the great players for this franchise didn’t stick around for more than a few years. I’m calling them the Florida Marlins since that’s how they were known for virtually their entire existence.

Here are the top 15 batters by cumulative WAR with the team:

Rk Player WAR/pos From To
1 Hanley Ramirez 25.3 2006 2012
2 Luis Castillo 20.8 1996 2005
3 Miguel Cabrera 17.2 2003 2007
4 Cliff Floyd 15.8 1997 2002
5 Dan Uggla 14.7 2006 2010
6 Mike Lowell 12.1 1999 2005
7 Gary Sheffield 12.1 1993 1998
8 Jeff Conine 12.0 1993 2005
9 Charles Johnson 11.0 1994 2002
10 Cody Ross 8.7 2006 2010
11 Derrek Lee 8.4 1998 2003
12 Juan Pierre 7.3 2003 2005
13 Giancarlo Stanton 7.3 2010 2012
14 Kevin Millar 6.9 1998 2002
15 Mark Kotsay 6.1 1997 2000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/15/2012.

Almost to a man, these guys are better known for playing with other teams. Hanley Ramirez should arguably be the face of the franchise but his career has been riddled with attitude-related problems.

The names on this list also comprise all of the entries in the top 15 single-season WAR totals, save Ivan Rodriguez, who had the 11th-best season with his 4.2 showing in 2003. If you associate him with the Marlins, you’re also in the minority.

The story is the same with the pitchers:

Rk Player WAR From To
1 Josh Johnson 20.8 2005 2012
2 Dontrelle Willis 16.1 2003 2007
3 Kevin Brown 14.4 1996 1997
4 Anibal Sanchez 12.8 2006 2012
5 A.J. Burnett 10.9 1999 2005
6 Josh Beckett 10.1 2001 2005
7 Brad Penny 7.8 2000 2004
8 Carl Pavano 7.3 2002 2004
9 Ricky Nolasco 7.1 2006 2012
10 Alex Fernandez 6.9 1997 2000
11 Pat Rapp 5.5 1993 1997
12 Al Leiter 5.2 1996 2005
13 Robb Nen 4.8 1993 1997
14 Chris Volstad 4.1 2008 2011
15 Ryan Dempster 4.0 1998 2002
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/15/2012.

I mean—seriously. When you think of Kevin Brown, A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, Alex Fernandez, Al Leiter…do you think of the Marlins first? If so, you must be a Marlins fan. The list of individual WAR seasons reveals another such guy– Bryan Harvey who came in at #10 with his 1993 season.

One highly notable name that’s missing altogether is Livan Hernandez. He ended up pitching for the Marlins for only parts of 4 seasons, but he played a huge role in the team’s 1997 playoff run and was ultimately the MVP of the World Series that year.

Darren Daulton also played there for a short time but was a big part of the 1997 championship team. Other notable names you don’t see above are Moises Alou, Edgar Renteria, Antonio Alfonseca, and Devon White.

From the 2003 championship team, a few names we don’t see above are Alex Gonzalez, the aforementioned I-Rod, and Ugueth Urbina.

My oh my, this team has had a lot of great players but so few that have stuck around for long.

Anyway, vote for 4 in the poll below:



Comments

The Mount Rushmore of the Florida Marlins — 17 Comments

  1. “Hanley Ramirez should arguably be the face of the franchise but his career has been riddled with attitude-related problems.” And why wouldn’t a player with attitude problems be the perfect face for this franchise? :)

    I accept that it may be a quirk of my mind, but I still associate Uggla with the Marlins. Even when I saw him this year, my first thought was “Oh, that’s right. He’s no longer with the Marlins.”

  2. I am seeing too many regular season votes. The marlins history is about two major playoff runs and the guys who were instrumental there come to mind first. Their stars were mostly traded away too, not even leaving for more money, only because their team didn’t want them at anywhere near market value. I remember Beckett and Willis.

    • I have to disagree somewhat; one of the cool things about selecting a “Mt. Rushmore” is that there are no absolute rules, and it’s based more on whom we “feel” are the most important people (yes I include non-players) to a particular franchise.

      If someone who followed the Marlins from the very beginning feels that Jeff Conine and Charles Johnson are the face of the franchise (because these two players were also there from the beginning), well, I can’t argue too much, even if they are not in the Top-10 in career WAR for the team.

      I’d choose Beckett, Lowell, Ramirez, and Conine, for a combination of regular-season performance, (relative) longevity, and post-season heroics.

      • I voted for Conine as the only one on both WS winners. Apparently many other voters thought along the same lines.

  3. Jeff Conine (face of early Marlins)
    Hanley Ramirez (face of recent Marlins)
    Livan Hernandez (face of 1997 Championship Marlins)
    Dontrelle Willis (face of 2003 Championship Marlins)

    Josh Johnson just missed out.

    • Beckett would also well represent the “fits-and-starts” nature of their history. In his 4 full years, there were glimpses and stretches of brilliance, but he never had 30 starts or 180 IP in a season.

  4. Sheffield — Team’s first star player, spent 5 seasons there (4 full and 2 partial) with a 156 OPS+, played a big role in the ’97 postseason (1.061 OPS).

    Cabrera — Best player they ever developed.

    HanRam — Owns the two best position-player WAR years in club history and its only batting title.

    Dontrelle — The team’s only 20-game winner, and charisma nudges him ahead of K.Brown.

  5. I don’t have enough of a “feel” for the Marlin’s and their history to really have an opinion as to who belongs on their monument. The 1997 team seemed to mercenary for my tastes and when the 2003 team came along there was already talk of how soon they would be traded away- which is really too bad for their fans. I think Tmckelv’s list is more valid than any that I would pick.

    I really do hope that Dontrelle Willis can somehow find his old magic again. He was so much fun to watch.

  6. Conine for sure. HanRam for sure. And I would do 2 pitchers, which probably would be Livian and Dontrelle. But I could go for Beckett too. Or even Robb Nen (going off the board for him, but he was a big part of that 1997 team)

  7. When I think of Marlin greats I think of when my local single A team the Kane County Cougars were in the Marlins system. got to see young Cabrera, Johnson Castillo, Willis, Burnett Beckett et al. Based on their impact there I have to go with Cabrera, Johnson Willis and Burnett.

  8. I’d go with Conine, Hanley, Miguel Cabrera, and Eric Gregg, without whom the Marlins may not have even reached the ’97 World Series. If you’ve forgotten how unbelievably unprofessional Gregg’s call of the strike zone was in game 5 of LCS against Atlanta was or if you thought those calls against Brett Lawrie were bad last night, here’s a clip of a few of Gregg’s choice calls:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR3eK5gCChM

    Livan, who’s only struck out more than 10 batters three times in his career with a high of 11, struck out 15 that day with only 7 swinging strikeouts. But hey, I’m not bitter. :-)

  9. lol at Eric Greg and Livan getting 15 strikeouts against patient hitters like Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff, and Kenny Lofton.

  10. Whats up this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

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