With 27 seasons of history in their rear view mirror, the Florida and Miami Marlins have seen 590 players take the field.
One of the more recent on-field heroes for the Miami Marlins was first baseman Justin Bour, who is turning 32-years-old today. The six-foot-four, 250 lb. left-handed batter was initially taken in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Chicago Cubs.
Bour worked his way up through the Cubbies system for the following five seasons. After the 2013 campaign, the Miami Marlins got hold of his rights through the triple-A phase of the rule 5 draft. Unlike the major league portion of the rule 5 draft, those chosen in the triple-A phase are not required to be kept on the big league roster through the season.
Nonetheless, Bour was called up to join the Miami Marlins on four occasions through the season. In 39 games, Bour was 21-for-74 from the plate but only hit one home run. While playing for the New Orleans Zephyrs in the triple-A Pacific Coast League, Bour hit .306/.372/.517 with 18 homers and 72 RBI in 103 contests.
In 2015, Bour officially spent his rookie-status by playing in 129 contests for the Miami Marlins. He hit .262 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI, but also struck out nearly a quarter of the time, with 101 whiffs in 409 at bats. On September 27, he went deep twice in a 9-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Bour again spent most of his campaign with the Miami Marlins in 2016, but also missed a big portion of the season with a sprained right ankle. Limited to only 90 games, Bour hit .264/.349/.475 with 15 round-trippers and 51 RBI. On April 29, Bour accounted for most of Miami’s offense with five RBI on a double and a pair of homers in a 6-3 triumph against the Milwaukee Brewers.
2017 would again see Bour struggle with the injury bug and be limited to only 108 games. That didn’t stop him from setting career highs with 25 moonshots, 83 RBI, and a .289/.366/.536 line. On April 30, in a 10-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bour collected a career-high six RBI with two singles, a double and a home run.
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2018 looked like it could be the year that Bour put it all together, but he slashed .227/.347/.412 through his first 112 games, with 19 homers and 54 RBI. He also whiffed a career high 111 times in 447 plate appearances. At the trade-deadline, the Marlins sent Bour to the Philadelphia Phillies. Bour went 11-for-49 in 29 games for them before they granted his free agency following the season.
Bour spent 2019 with the Los Angeles Angels, between their triple-A Salt Lake Bees and the parent club. In the majors, he hit just .172 in 52 games, with a career-worst 30.6 percent strikeout rate. The Angels granted his free agency following the campaign. He’s since signed on with the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball.
Bour was a fan favorite while with the Marlins, and my daughter’s all time favorite athlete. She often spoke of growing up and working in Bour’s donut shop. What are some of your favorite Bour moments? Thanks for reading.