40. Justin Bour (5.0)
Justin Bour is a 6’3″, 265 lb. first baseman from Washington, D.C. Born on May 28th, 1988, he was a 25th round selection of the Chicago Cubs in 2009. This was after he hit 46 round-trippers in division I play with George Mason over three seasons.
Bour made his way up through the Cubbies’ system until 2013, when he appeared in 83 games for the Tennessee Smokies. He was there for a second consecutive season after slashing .283/.360/.455 in 138 games in 2012. He regressed to a .237/.313/.461 in his second season there. The Marlins picked Bour up during the AAA Phase of the Rule V draft following the 2013 season.
Bour played most of the 2014 season with the New Orleans Zephyrs, hitting 18 homers and slashing .306/.372/.517 in 103 games. In 39 games with the Marlins, he hit .284/.361/.365. On September 14th, Bour collected a pinch-hit RBI-single to tie up the Philadelphia Phillies at four before Christian Yelich crossed the plate on a wild pitch to win it.
In 2015, Bour appeared in a career-high 129 Marlins games. He slashed out a .262/.321/.479 line, with 23 home runs and 73 RBI. He also drew 34 walks and struck out 101 times. On July 1st, Bour batted fourth and was one-for-three to start out. In the bottom of the ninth, he hit a three-run, walk-off homer against the San Francisco Giants to earn a 6-5 victory. Bour finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Bour appeared in 90 games in 2016, missing a substantial chunk of the season due to injury. He put up a .264/.349/.475 slashline with 15 round-trippers and 51 RBI. On April 29th, Bour was three-for-four with a double, two homers, and five RBI in a 6-3 Miami Marlins win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 2017, for the fourth year in a row, Bour increased his OPS. He slashed .289/.366/.536 in 108 games, with a career-best 25 home runs and 83 RBI. His OPS at that point had tracked from .726-to-.800-to-.824-to-.902. On April 30th, Bour totaled a career-best six RBI in a 10-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was four-for-five with a homer and a double in the contest.
2018 would see Bour collect 19 homers in 112 games for the Miami Marlins. He slashed .227/.347/.412, with a clear regression in power while clearly gaining in patience. He walked 70 times, far-and-away his greatest full-season figure in the simple counting stat. On August 10th, the Marlins traded Bour with cash to the Phillies for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills.
Bour has since gone 37-for-200 at the major league level between the Phillies and the Los Angeles Angels. He’s since taken his talents to the Far East, with the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball.