2. Ronny Paulino
Ronny Paulino signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 1997, and patiently worked his way up until making his debut with the Bucs in 2005. After four seasons in the Steel City, he was traded three times between the end of 2008 until the beginning of 2009, with “stops” in Philadelphia and San Francisco. The Giants sent him to the Marlins for Hector Correa just prior to the start of the 2009 season.
Paulino spent the 2009 season backing up John Baker, and got into 80 games, 77 of them as catcher. He made only two errors in 582 1/3 innings of work, and threw out 31 percent of basestealers. He was also sneaky-good at picking runners off (see above). Offensively, he was much better than the standard backup catcher, slashing .272/.340/.423 with eight home runs and 27 RBI. On August 26th, he hit a two-run homer, the eventual game-winner, to take a 4-2 fifth inning lead over the New York Mets. The Marlins eventually won that one, 5-3, and Paulino’s .301 WPA was the highest he earned through the season in a win.
In 2010, Paulino started most of the games for the Marlins. He started 84 times, while five other catchers backed him up, with none of them starting more than 32 times. Paulino notched a .991 fielding percentage and again threw out 31 percent of baserunners trying to steal, and slashed a respectable .259/.311/.354 with four homers and 37 RBI.
Granted free agency after the 2010 season, Paulino signed on with a number of major league teams, but only appeared with the New York Mets (78 games in 2011) and the Baltimore Orioles (20 games in 2012).
1. Mike Redmond
Mike Redmond is the best backup catcher the Marlins have ever had, bar none. Long before his three-season turn as the Miami Marlins manager, Redmond was the Marlins backup catcher for seven seasons.
After going undrafted in 1992, the Marlins signed Redmond to a contract through free agency, then watched him make his debut six years later. In 2816 total chances behind the plate, Redmond made only 17 errors for a .994 fielding percentage. In his first five seasons, he threw out 39 percent of baserunners, well above the NL average for that period.
Redmond served as the backup for Gregg Zaun in 1998, split the catching duties in 1999 with Jorge Fabregas, split again in 2000 with Paul Bako and Ramon Castro, backed up Charles Johnson in 2001 and 2002 and Ivan Rodriguez in 2003, and split with Paul Lo Duca and Castro in 2004.
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Redmond was far and away the best hitter from amongst the group listed here in this article. He put up a .284/.348/.362 slashline in 484 games, with 11 home runs and 132 RBI. He hit over .300 in four of his seasons in Miami, and hit the mark again in the two seasons following his movement to the Minnesota Twins through free agency in 2005.
Redmond went on to play in the familiar role of backup catcher for the Twins for the next five seasons before playing in 22 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2010. He would go on to earn a 155-207 record managing the Marlins from 2013 through 2015, but he will always be thought of as the best and longest-serving backup catcher for the Marlins franchise.
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