4. Matt Treanor
Matt Treanor took the scenic route to the major leagues. A fourth round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals back in 1994, he didn’t make his big league debut until 2004 with the Florida Marlins at the age of 28. Despite taking forever to get to the top level of baseball, Treanor carved out a nice little nine-season major league career after getting there. On June 17th, in the fifth game of his career, he hit a walkoff RBI-single to score Luis Castillo, defeating the Chicago White Sox, 2-1.
For the first five of those seasons, Treanor backstopped for the Marlins. He was the primary backup of Paul Lo Duca in 2005, Miguel Olivo in 2006 and 2007, and split the catching duties more-or-less evenly in 2008 with John Baker.
Treanor allowed 139 stolen bases in 261 contests, and threw out 50 baserunners for a 23 percent kill rate. That’s hardly elite, but in 2006, that’s exactly what he was. He gunned down an NL leading 47 percent of basestealers in that season, nailing 16-of-34.
As a hitter, Treanor was better than the average backup, and slashed a .238/.306/.301 line in 274 contests overall. He collected eight home runs and 70 RBI.
3. Jeff Mathis
Jeff Mathis was a first round selection of the Anaheim Angels in 2001. He made his major league debut with them in 2005 after working his way up through their system, then played seven seasons for them in the majors. After spending 2012 with the Toronto Blue Jays, he was traded to the Miami Marlins with Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, and Justin Nicolino for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes.
Mathis had never hit higher than .211 in his first eight major league seasons, and his four seasons with the Marlins would yield few surprises on that front. He slashed .195/.252/.292 in 210 games in total, with 11 round trippers and 68 RBI. He did sometimes have a flair for the dramatic.
Mathis was the nominal starter for the Miami Marlins in 2013, splitting time nearly evenly with Rob Brantly. In 2014 he backed up Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and after that was J.T. Realmuto’s relief. A crafty pitch caller and above average pitch framer, Mathis appeared in 203 games behind the plate for the Fish. He made six errors in 1644 2/3 innings for a .996 fielding percentage, only passed nine balls, and threw out baserunners at a better-than league average clip, with a 32 percent kill rate.
The Marlins granted free agency to Mathis after the 2016 season, and he inked a deal to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks.