Miami Marlins Legacy Series: Best Ever Third Basemen

Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera celebrates a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks August 13, 2006 in Phoenix. The Marlins won 6 - 5. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera celebrates a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks August 13, 2006 in Phoenix. The Marlins won 6 - 5. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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10. Alex Arias (154 appearances)

Mostly a shortstop, Arias also had a seasons-worth of games at third base over his five seasons with the Florida Marlins. He hit .265/.335/.342 in 423 career games, helping them to their first World Series Championship, in 1997.

Born in New York City on November 20th, 1967, Arias was a third round choice of the Chicago Cubs in 1987. The Florida Marlins acquired him after his 1992 major league with the Cubs, along with Gary Scott for Greg Hibbard. Arias hit .293 in 32 contests for Chicago.

In his first season with the nascent Florida Marlins, Arias played at least 118 innings at second, third and shortstop, grading out as below average defensively at each. Granted, his 161 1/3 innings at the hot corner resulted in a just-below average mark of minus-1 fielding runs per 1200 innings. Sweetening the pot was his .344 OBP and solid patience at the plate, which resulted in 27 walks versus only 18 strikeouts.

Arias continued his position-splitting ways in the strike-shortened 1994 season. He only appeared in 59 games, mostly as a pinch hitter but also at shortstop and third base. Despite just over 200 total innings in the field, he graded out near-average defensively, but suffered to a .239 batting average.

1995 would see Arias’ average recover to a more-palatable mark of .269 over 94 appearances. In 21 games at third base, including a dozen starts, he fielded a dismal .939 while ranking just above the NL average at the position.

In 1996, Arias played in a career-high 59 games at third base while fielding .956 and grading out 10 runs better than-average per-1200 innings at the position, or about one defensive win. A then-career-best .277 batting average was just frosting.

Arias ended up playing 154 games at third base for the Miami Marlins, ranking 10th on their all-time leaderboard.

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