Miami Marlins Bullpen: Brett Graves’ 2018 Season Review

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Brett Graves #53 of the Miami Marlins poses for a portrait at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Brett Graves #53 of the Miami Marlins poses for a portrait at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Brett Graves came to the Miami Marlins via rule 5 draft from the Oakland Athletics last season.

As this offseason comes to an end, we’re finishing off our five-month-long series on every player in the Miami Marlins system in 2018. This chapter, the 274th-of-286, is about Brett Graves.

Brett Thomas Graves is a 6’1″, 170 lb. right-handed hitting and throwing pitcher from St. Charles, Missouri, population 70,329. The St. Louis suburb (and ninth largest city in Missouri in its own right) has produced a dozen major leaguers in total, including former Miami Marlins pitchers Mark Buehrle and Jacob Turner.

Graves was born on January 30th, 1993, and attended Francis Howell HS in his hometown. After graduation, he was chosen in the 26th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, but he turned them down to attend the University of Missouri.

Graves played three seasons of division I baseball for the Tigers, making 37 starts and nine trips out of the bullpen. He struck out 124 in 211 innings, with a 1.43 WHIP and a 9-16 overall record.

Miami Marlins
BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 17: Brett Graves #53 of the Miami Marlins pitches in his Major League debut in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 17, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Following the 2014 season, Graves was again selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, this time all the way up in the third round by the Oakland Athletics. Taken 101st off the board, 17-of-54 players taken at the spot have made it to the majors. The group is led by Jonathan Lucroy (2007, Milwaukee Brewers, 19.1 career WAR), Charlie Moore (1971, Brewers, 10.3 WAR), and Danny Graves (1994, Cleveland Indians, 5.5 WAR).

After signing for a $510,000 bonus, Graves struck out 18 in 21 innings for the short-season-A Vermont Lake Monsters after his selection.

In 2015, Graves spent the entire season in the rotation for the Midwest League Beloit Snappers, a full-season-A outfit. Ninety-one strikeouts in 142 2/3 innings and a 12-8 record were his yield, although his 5.36 ERA raised some eyebrows. The following season with the high-A Stockton Ports in the California League would see him go 7-10 with a 4.60 ERA and 86 K’s in 141 innings.

Miami Marlins
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 18: Brett Graves #53 of the Miami Marlins celebrates a win and collects his first save of the year after a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Graves was injured for a big part of the 2017 season, and ended up playing seven games each with the Ports and for the double-A Midland RockHounds in the Texas League. For the first time in his career, he struck out a decent amount of batters, getting 57 to miss in 55 innings of work. He was especially impressive at the high-A level, where he kept opponents to a 0.85 WHIP. Here’s Graves with the RockHounds in 2017, courtesy of Baseball Census.

On December 12, 2017, the Miami Marlins chose Graves in the rule 5 draft. As it was in the major league portion, they had to keep him on the major league roster for the entire season, barring rehab assignments, or risk losing him back to the Athletics.

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Graves appeared in 21 games for the Miami Marlins, with 21 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. He racked up a 1.590 WHIP and a 4.51 WHIP that indicates he was better than his 5.40 ERA would indicate, and posted a 1-1 record. He had a 68 ERA+ and finished the season a half game below replacement. Unfortunately, he was one of 32 on the team at or below replacement level, as compared to only 19 above.

This Spring Training, the Miami Marlins have invited Graves as a non-roster invitee. It’s likelier that he begins the campaign with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League, but could make the cut with a strong performance.

Continue to follow us for the final twelve 2018 player capsules in the lead to Spring Training action. Tomorrow we’ll look at John Silviano and Tyler Kinley.

dark. Next. Jonathan Rodriguez's 2018 Miami Marlins Review

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