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 140 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Peter Robert O’Brien is a 6’4″, 235 lb. first baseman and left fielder from Hialeah, Florida. Born on July 15th, 1990, he played three seasons of college ball with Bethune-Cookman, slashing out a .386/.451/.748 line in Division I play as a sophomore in 2010.
After his 2011 season, O’Brien was chosen in the third round of the draft by the Colorado Rockies, but did not sign. Instead, he matriculated to play ball for the Miami Hurricanes in his senior season.
As a Hurricane, O’Brien hit .340/.441/.626 in 41 contests, with 10 homers and 40 RBI. After that, he was again chosen highly, in the second round by the New York Yankees. He signed for a $460,000 bonus.
Players for whom teams spend the 94th overall choice on have gone on to play in the major leagues 31 percent of the time, or 17-of-54. The group is led by David Justice (1985, Atlanta Braves, 40.6 career WAR), Joe Smith (2006, New York Mets, 12.8 WAR), and Scott Downs (1997, Chicago Cubs, 10.9 WAR).
O’Brien worked his way through the Yankees system until mid-2014, when he was traded with a PTBNL to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Martin Prado. O’Brien spent 131 games in 2015 with the DBacks triple-A club, the Pacific Coast League’s Reno Aces. He also made his major league debut with Arizona, going four-for-10 in eight appearances.
In 2016, O’Brien again spent most of the season in Reno. In another callup to Arizona, he went nine-for-64 with five home runs.
2017 would be difficult for O’Brien’s travel agent. The Diamondbacks traded him to the Kansas City Royals for Sam Lewis in January. In May, the Cincinnati Reds claimed him off waivers from KC. Just 10 days later, the Texas Rangers claimed him off waivers in turn, then waived for the third time in less than a month, he was claimed by the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 18th.
In 2018, O’Brien began the season with the Dodgers double-A club, the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League. After he started out 15-for-100 through 31 games, the Dodgers traded him to the Miami Marlins for cash despite his seven home runs.
After joining the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, in the Southern League, O’Brien tied a league record with home runs in seven straight games. In 43 games, he slashed .215/.345/.514 for an unreal .299 ISO. He had 13 home runs for the crustaceans, with 31 RBI.
Promoted to the PCL’s New Orleans Baby Cakes on July 24th, O’Brien responded with a .277/.385/.598 line, improving his already reality-defying ISO to .321. In 36 games, he hit 31-for-112 with 10 round-trippers and 33 RBI. On September 4th, he played his way back to the major leagues for the first time in two years.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
O’Brien started out hitting just three for his first 17 with the Marlins, including a double and a homer through his first seven games. After that, he hit .306 over his final 15 appearances. He ended up with six multi-hit games, with four home runs and 10 RBI for his troubles. According to Statcast, when the balls-batted-event threshold is lowered to 40, O’Brien ranks ninth in the majors with barrels in 9.5 percent of plate appearances.
On September 13th, O’Brien had his best game of the season (by Wins Probability Added). He batted sixth, and hit a solo home run in the second inning. In the seventh, he added an RBI-single to score Brian Anderson and take a 3-2 lead over the New York Mets. Kyle Barraclough eventually allowed back-to-back home runs to hand the game back to New York in walkoff fashion.
O’Brien was first on the Miami Marlins depth chart at first base until Pedro Alvarez signed yesterday. He’s still the frontrunner, but the competition is wide open. Rest assured, Donny Baseball will start the most qualified applicant on Opening Day.
Thanks for reading. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins.