Our #4 and #3 seasons are actually tied in terms of WAR, so I won’t quibble about the order. I did want to talk specifically about one of my favorite players of all time (oddly enough), former Marlin left fielder Cliff Floyd. He logs in tied for #3 on our list best Marlins seasons this decade. Let’s take a look at his outstanding 2001 season.
Cliff Floyd (2001)
Cliff Floyd was one of the better remnants of the 1997 World Series winning team, a player who was still cheap and thus avoided being sent off with the rest of the fire sale. Floyd was left as one of the few incumbent players from that 1997 team, along with starter Livan Hernandez. Floyd stood out as the best hitter on an otherwise hitless team in the years after 1997, but struggled to put up an entire, healthy season in the books.
While he did put up a healthy 1998, Floyd’s best campaign was his healthy 2001. Following two injury-cut seasons, Floyd came back with a vengeance, posting his best season to date. Floyd’s monstrous .317/.390/.578 slash line was good for an impressive .404 wOBA. Much of those 40 runs above average came from an excellent power display from Floyd; in 2001, he put up a career-best .254 adjusted ISO, powered by 48 doubles and triples and 31 home runs. Floyd also did a solid job on the bases, stealing 18 of 21 bags attempted and posting three runs better than average on the bases according to Rally’s measurements.
The major difference in the 2001 season was that, according to TotalZone, Floyd performed very well that season. Prior to that year, Floyd had racked up eight runs below average playing left field for the Marlins, but in 2001 TotalZone had him at +12 runs. With the positive defensive contribution, Floyd put up a complete, dominant season.
Floyd’s Marlins stay was short from 2001 on. With Floyd facing impending free agency after the 2002 season, the Marlins sent him to the Montreal Expos in a deal that netted the Fish Carl Pavano and Mike Mordecai. Oddly enough, once the Expos realized they were out of playoff contention, they dealt Floyd that very season to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox then allowed him to leave, allowing Floyd to sign with the New York Mets. Throughout, he had a very interesting career, one apparently worth 27 WAR by Rally’s numbers. It’s interesting to think what he would have done had he stayed bit more healthy. Would 40 WAR have been out of reach? I don’t think so.
Tune in next time when we talk about the season tied with Floyd’s 2001 campaign, a season put up by one of the best Marlins of the decade.