Miami Marlins History: All-Time Top 20 OPS (an in-depth look, 20-11)
15) Derrek Lee (.822)
Derrek Lee was initially drafted by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the 1993 draft, 14th off the board. The 6’4″, 240 lb. power hitting first baseman worked up through the San Diego system until going 14-for-54 in his major league debut in 1997. Just after winning their World Series title, the Marlins traded Kevin Brown to the Padres for Steve Hoff, Rafael Medina, and Lee.
Just 22-years-old when he joined the Florida Marlins, Lee appeared in 141 games as the Marlins starter at first base. Lee totaled 17 home runs and 74 RBI while slashing .233/.318/.414 and drew 47 walks in 513 plate appearances while striking out 120 times. Lee would get worse before he got better. In 70 games the following season, he slashed just .206/.263/.326 with five homers and 20 RBI. He also struck out nearly a third of the time, whiffing 70 times in 236 plate appearances.
But the Florida Marlins had faith in Lee, which was well rewarded over the next four seasons. In 633 games between 2000 and 2003, Lee hit 107 homers for 323 RBI, stealing 44 bases and slashing .276/.368/.495. For his efforts defensively, Lee was awarded the 2003 NL Gold Glove at first base.
After helping the Marlins to their second World Series title, Lee was traded by Miami to the Chicago Cubs for Mike Nannini and Hee-Sep Choi.
Lee played six-and-a-half seasons for the Cubs, garnering two all-star selections, two more Gold Gloves, and his only career Silver Slugger, in 2005. After his time in the Windy City, Lee played for the Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.