Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 134 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Justin James Bour is a 6’3″, 265 lb. power hitter from Washington, D.C. Born on May 28th, 1988, he was initially undrafted out of high school, and played division I ball for George Mason University for three seasons, starting in 2007.
In 161 games for the Patriots, Bour hit 46 home runs and 187 RBI. He hit .347/.418/.621, including a .398 average as a sophomore in 2008. He hit at least 14 home runs in each of his seasons in the Colonial Athletic Association.
In 2009, Bour was chosen in the 25th round of the MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Chosen 770th overall, Bour is now by far the most accomplished of the six players who have eventually reached the major leagues. The only other players above replacement level are Pat Bourque (1969, Cubs, 0.8 career WAR), and Gil Kubski (1972, Pittsburgh Pirates, 0.1 WAR).
Bour worked his way up through the Cubbies system for the next few seasons, culminating in 2012 and 2013 with the double-A Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League. He was named to the 2012 SL all-star team as a designated hitter. At the 2013 owner’s meetings, Bour was drafted from the Cubs by the Miami Marlins in the triple-A phase of the the rule 5 draft. You can follow Bour on Twitter @Bour41.
As Bour was selected in the non-major-league portion of the rule 5 draft, there was no requirement to have him remain on the Miami Marlins roster throughout the following season. The Marlins called Bour up and sent him down again four times through the 2014 season. He did hit 21-for-74 in 39 contests.
Bour’s first four seasons with the Miami Marlins resulted in a .273/.346/.489 slashline in 366 games. He hit 64 home runs and 218 RBI, with 53 doubles and just one triple. He finished fifth in the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year Award vote.
As is Bour’s usual custom, he started the season slow, going six-for-37 through 10 games. In his 11th game, a June 10th, 8-6 loss to the New York Mets, Bour collected a pair of two-run shots.
In 112 games for the Marlins, Bour had 17 multi-hit games. He had another two-home run game on June 17th, with a solo shot and a three-run job in a 10-4 loss to the putrid Baltimore Orioles. Bour completed his final season with the Miami Marlins with 19 home runs and 54 RBI, slashing .227/.347/.412.
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Aside from 10 games at DH, Bour appeared only at first base through his time with the Marlins. He handled 3,169 total chances and made only 13 errors for a .996 fielding percentage. He posted a better-than-NL-average FPct in four of his five seasons with Miami, with a career-low .993 in 2015.
In Bour’s five seasons with the Miami Marlins, he finished with an OPS+ of 105 or better, peaking with a mark of 143 in 2017. He was at 115 for them when traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on August 10th for left-handed starting pitcher McKenzie Mills. In addition, Bour never finished below replacement level, collecting 4.7 Wins Above Replacement over 478 contests for the Marlins.
After joining the Phillies, Bour went 11-for-49 with one homer and five RBI, with an OPS all the way down at 72. He’s arbitration eligible for the second time this season, and estimated to be worth $5.2 million if his case goes to proceedings. I hope Bour hits .400 for the Phillies, except when he plays against the Miami Marlins.
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