MLB All-Star Game: Miami Marlins All-Time All-Star 2B
The next installment of the Miami Marlins All-Time All-Stars tour puts the spotlight on the talent rich position of second base.
Second base is a fun one for the Miami Marlins, with plenty of deserving names in their history. However, you knew who it would be the moment this All-Time All-Star series started.
Luis Castillo stands head and shoulders against the rest of the Marlins All-Star second base competition, even if (fun fact) they are all the same height. No shocker there. But what often tends to get overlooked with Castillo is that he’s not just the best second baseman in team history.
He might just be their best player overall.
Three consecutive Gold Gloves. Three All-Star Games in four years. He led all of baseball in stolen bases twice in three years, settling for a mere 50 bags before starting that stretch. He owns the longest hitting streak in Miami Marlins history, and the fourth longest in baseball over the last fifty years. And oh yeah, he’s a World Series champion.
The milestones don’t end there. Games played. Hits. Triples. Walks. Stolen bases. Castillo ranks as the franchise leader in all of them. If nothing else, he wins the Marlins participation award.
Castillo’s All-Star Efforts
The All-Star campaigns? Those would be 2002, 2003, and 2005. Castillo’s All-Star track record checks in at a modest 1 for 5, and despite his golden defense, never started for the National League.
Jeff Kent and Jose Vidro alternated blocking Castillo from the starting lineup, and at times, the roster completely. The 2005 season, Luis’ last with Miami, probably checks in as the most egregious starting snub.
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Of course, there really should be a forth All-Star Game on his ledger, considering none of those three years include the best season of his career. That would be 2000, when he hit for a .334 average with a league best 62 steals.
As far as not starting, the snub is understandable. Castillo had the bad luck of timing his best season with Kent’s 2000 NL MVP effort. But not even making the roster with those numbers? Ridiculous, especially considering the All-Star Game was still an exhibition then.
Either Vidro, Edgardo Alfonso, or even the Marlins own Ryan Dempster all should have been moved aside for the speedy No. 1.
Again, the competition for top Marlins All-Star is fierce when it comes to second. Really, every era of Miami Marlins baseball has had a dynamic playmaker at the position, if not an outright All-Star. Castillo. Dan Uggla. Dee Gordon. All different, but all deadly. Intermixed with the wheels of Chuckie Carr, the grit of Craig Counsell, and the technically an All-Star once Omar Infante, the position has almost always been in good hands.
But never more so than when they were in the thrice golden ones of Luis Castillo.