22. Derrek Lee (9.9)
Derrek Lee was a 6-foot-5, 225 lb. first baseman from Sacramento, CA. Born on September 6th, 1975, Lee was a first round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1993, 14th overall off the board.
Lee worked his way up through the Padres system until his major league debut in 1997, when he went 14-for-54 in 22 games. After the season, the Padres traded him with Rafael Medina and Steve Hoff to Florida for ace pitcher Kevin Brown.
The defending National League Champions in 1998 struggled to finish a franchise-worst 54-108, a mark that endures to the present day despite some pretty bad seasons in the meantime. In 141 games for the Marlins, Lee hit .233/.318/.414 with team-second numbers of 17 homers and 74 RBI. Lee’s .993 fPCT at first base was right in line with the N.L. average.
In 1999, Lee only played in 70 games at the major league level, spending the other half of his season with the Calgary Cannons in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. For the Marlins, he hit just .206/.263/.326 with five home runs and 20 RBI. The Marlins improved by 10 games, but that was still just a 64-win campaign.
2000 would see Lee rank second on Florida with 158 appearances. He improved his slashline all the way up to .281/.368/.507, with a team second 28 homers and 70 RBI. Lee maintained his .993 fPCT, again ranking near the N.L. average. The Marlins were again starting to make some noise, finishing at 79-82 for the year.
Lee led the Marlins with 158 games played in 2001, as the team finished 76-86. Lee hit .282/.346/.474 with 21 moon-shots and 75 RBI. As always to this point of his career, Lee was a league-average fielder at the not-hot-corner.
In 2002, Lee led the majors with 162 games played, and hit .270/.379/.494. His 98 walks ranked ranked 10th in the N.L., while he hit another 27 homers and 86 RBI. Lee also incorporated some speed into his game, stealing 19 bases for the Marlins. The team still finished at just 79-83.
In 2003, as Lee went, so did the Marlins. He won his first Gold Glove at first base, with a .996 fielding percentage in 155 contests. Lee hit .271/.379/.508 with a then-career-best 31 homers and 92 RBI, with 21 stolen bases. He then went 15-for-72 through the postseason, helping the Marlins to their second World Series Championship.
But that was it for Lee in Florida. After the parade, the Marlins traded Lee to the Chicago Cubs for Mike Nannini and Hee-Seop Choi. Lee played seven seasons with the Cubs, making two all-star teams, winning two more Gold Gloves, and the 2005 Silver Slugger Award for first base in the N.L. He later played for the Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.