Cliff Floyd is often under appreciated in the annals of Marlins history.
A 6-foot-4, 240 lb. left-handed 20-20 left fielder for the Marlins, Cliff Floyd was initially a first-round choice of the Montreal Expos in 1991, with the 14th overall selection, right after Manny Ramirez. Twenty-nine of the 44 players chosen in that round eventually made the majors.
Floyd, who turns 47-years-old today, ranks third out of that round in total career WAR, with a mark of 26.0. Only Ramirez, at 69.4, and Shawn Green (34.7) finished their career with higher.
Floyd spent the first six seasons of his pro career in the Expos organization, making his major league debut in 1993 with Montreal. Just before the Marlins 1997 campaign got underway, the Expos traded Floyd to Florida for Joe Orsulak and Dustin Hermanson. Orsulak hit just .227 in what would be his final pro season, while Hermanson started 136 games for the Expos over the next four seasons, going 43-47 with a 3.98 ERA.
Although Floyd eventually played 17 major league seasons, he finished with a WAR of 1.4 or better only eight times, including five of his six seasons with Florida. His best season was undoubtedly the 2001 campaign, for which he earned his only career all-star nod. In 149 contests, Floyd hit .317/.390/.578 with 31 homers, 103 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
In 1998, Floyd became the first member of the Marlins 20-20 club, with 22 homers and 27 RBI in 153 games. He was later joined by Hanley Ramirez (four times), Preston Wilson (three times), and Derrek Lee. Jonathan Villar is likely the next member of the group, just having come off a 24-40 season with the Baltimore Orioles.
Floyd went on to play until 2009, later spending time with the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the San Diego Padres. None of them got to see the Floyd that we enjoyed down here in Miami.
Floyd ranks 12th on the Florida / Miami all-time leaderboard with 637 games played. He’s also ninth with 392 runs scored, eighth with 167 doubles, ninth with 110 home runs, eighth with 409 RBI, and seventh with 90 stolen bases. Of players who appeared in more than 200 games with the Marlins, his .294 batting average ranks sixth and his .374 OBP ranks fourth, along with his .523 SLG.
Other Marlins Birthdays
LHP Josh Stewart (41) was a former fifth-round pick of the Chicago White Sox who eventually pitched in the majors in 2003 and 2004. In 2006, he pitched in 13 contests for Florida’s Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, going 1-3 with a 6.37 ERA.
After going undrafted out of Northern Illinois University, RHP Mark Badgley (36) pitched 20 games out of the bullpen for Florida’s 2007 short-season-A New York-Penn League affiliate, the Jamestown Jammers. He struck out 26 in 30 2/3 innings and posted a 1.24 WHIP.
Right-handed swingman Jheyson Manzueta (30) pitched five seasons in the Marlins minors, starting in 2010. He went 16-18 with a 4.05 ERA in 139 appearances, including 29 starts for the GCL Marlins, the Jammers, the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the Single-A South Atlantic League, the Jupiter Hammerheads in the High-A Florida State League, and the Jacksonville Suns in the Double-A Southern League.
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Christian Yelich (28) was pretty good for Miami before he became very good for the Milwaukee Brewers. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Venezuelan native Roger Avello (25) played four seasons of rookie ball in Miami’s DSL and GCL clubs. From 2012 through 2015, he played in 154 games and hit .256/.333/.324.
Outfielder Christian Capellan (22) went 16-for-134 over two seasons with the DSL Marlins starting in 2015.
Centerfielder Wiklerman Rasquin (21) hit .222 in 100 games in 2016 and 2017 with the DSL Marlins.