Oct 3, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals Nate Schierholtz (17) hits a double in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants in game one of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
During the 2013 season, Nate Schierholtz finally experienced the season that many in baseball had been looking from from the outfielder for years. By putting together a .251/.301/.470 season with 21 home runs, 68 RBI, and a wRC+ of 108, he made Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer look very smart in Chicago.
However, the honeymoon bliss wore off quickly, as Schierholtz proved that full-time work allowed opponents to over-expose his flaws and he quickly fell back to Earth in 2014. Splitting the year between the Cubs and then the Washington Nationals, Schierholtz struggled to a .195/.243/.309 season last year and, as such, has become somewhat of a forgotten commodity in the market.
Teams aren’t going to miscast him as a full-time bat again, and luckily for the Marlins, they don’t need to. However, it shouldn’t go without notice just how useful he can be either. While he grades out as an above average fielder as a corner outfielder, particularly in right field, there may not be many at bats available to the the lefty. But the National League game has a need for solid pinch hitters as well, and Schierholtz carries with him a much better stick coming off the bench than he does when he’s thrust into outfield duty as well.
That said, of the five candidates on this list, he offers the least amount of roster flexibility and that makes him somewhat of a long-shot. Still, as far as bounce-back candidates, he may have the most upside of the group.