From 1993 until now, the Florida and Miami Marlins have seen 590 players come and go at the major league level.
Yesterday, we took a look at players who’s last names begin with the letter, “A.” Today, we check out the “B” team.
With a prospective roster with 54 players to choose from, the starting rotation will likely be the best from this “alphabet” series. The starting lineup isn’t half bad either.
As for the methodology of picking the “starting” lineups and rotations, it was a bit of a mix between total playing time and either OPS+ or ERA+ depending. Slightly more weight was given to the advanced metrics than the number of plate appearances, within reason.
Leading off for the all-time Marlins and playing center field is current defensive skeleton key Jon Berti. Despite only playing in 73 games for the 2019 Miami Marlins, Berti stole 17 bases in 20 attempts while slashing .273/.348/.406 with six homers and 24 RBI. Berti’s added benefit, of course, is his defense. Listed as a “natural” second baseman, Berti played last season at third, shortstop, and all three outfield spots.
Batting second and playing shortstop is Emilio Bonifacio. With 416 Marlins games to his credit, Boni ranks second out of today’s crew and 34th overall in the annals of South Florida baseball history. A light hitter with only seven homers with the team, Boni ranks sixth all-time on the franchise list with 103 stolen bases versus only 23 times caught stealing.
Hitting third and ranking 12th on Miami’s all-time list with 83 homers is Justin Bour. Bour’s 478 games is the highest total out of today’s list, although it’s only 26th overall. Bour hit .262/.346/.470 and collected 272 RBI in parts of five seasons before getting traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2018 season.
Batting cleanup and manning the hot corner, we have former all-star and Pittsburgh Pirates “Killer B” Bobby Bonilla. In 181 games, including the entire 1997 World Series Championship run, Bobby Bo hit .294/.375/.466 with 21 round-trippers and 111 RBI.
Backstopping and batting fifth is catcher John Buck, the Florida Marlins catcher in 2011 and the Miami Marlins catcher in 2012. In 246 contests, he hit .213/.308/.358 with 28 home runs and 98 RBI. Buck drew 103 walks in only 928 Marlins plate appearances for a solid 11.1 percent base-on-balls rate. He graded out as a slightly above-average defender behind the plate during his time with the team, although he had a disappointing 21.1 percent CS rate.
Playing second base and batting sixth, original Marlin Bret Barberie. In 206 games over Florida’s first two seasons, he hit .289 and racked up a .978 fielding percentage at second.
Batting seventh for the all-time “B” team, left fielder Greg Briley. Another original Marlin, Briley appeared in 120 games for the inaugural club, hitting .194/.250/.282 in his final season after five years with the Seattle Mariners.
Right fielder Jerry Browne rounds out the lineup batting eighth. He played in 178 games between the 1994 and 1995 Florida Marlins, and hit .281/.376/.361, which count for the best marks of his 10-season major league career. He hit four homers and 47 RBI with the club.
Holding down the bench, we have catcher John Baker, corner infielder Aaron Boone, outfielder Joe Borchard, middle infielder Dave Berg, and outfielder Lewis Brinson.
With a two-season ERA+ of 176, the ace of the rotation is unquestionably Kevin Brown. He was named to the National League All Star team in both 1996 and 1997, going 33-19 with a 2.30 ERA, 364 whiffs in 470 1/3 innings, and a 1.063 WHIP.
Josh Beckett follows Brown, with a 41-34 record and a 3.46 ERA over 103 starts with the Marlins. Beckett racked up a 118 ERA+ along with 607 K’s in 609 innings, an 8.97 K/9 rate from 2001 through 2005.
Number three starter A.J. Burnett is the proud owner of maybe the sloppiest no-hitter in Marlins history, but he totaled a 3.73 ERA in 131 starts, going 49-50 from 1999 through 2005. Burnett struck out 753 batters in 853 1/3 innings with a 1.284 WHIP. Despite more solid numbers later in his career, Burnett never spent more than three seasons anywhere else.
Although he was only here for one season, Mark Buehrle gave the Marlins what everyone expects of Mark Buehrle. In 31 starts he was 13-13 with a 3.74 ERA and 125 K’s in 202 1/3 innings, along with a 1.345 WHIP and a 109 ERA+.
John Burkett rounds out the rotation with 54 starts for the Marlins over two seasons. He was 20-24 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.347 WHIP.
Despite three other guys in the bullpen with double-digit saves, closer Armando Benitez leads them with 47 collected between 2004 and 2007 with the Florida Marlins. He was 4-7 with a 2.72 ERA and 101 K’s in 102 2/3 innings.
Kyle Barraclough struck out 279 in 218 2/3 innings for an 11.5 K/9. He only allowed 150 hits, but also walked 134 for a 1.299 WHIP. Barraclough was 15-12 with a 3.21 ERA and 11 saves.
Burke Badenhop went 13-15 from 2008 through 2011 with a 4.34 ERA in 151 games. A long-reliever who often went more than one inning, Badenhop also started 10 times in a Marlins uniform.
Ricky Bones made his seventh and final stop in the majors with the 2000 and 2001 Florida Marlins, going 6-7 in 117 relief appearances. Bones had a 4.78 ERA and a frightening 1.592 WHIP.
Nate Bump pitched 148 innings in 113 games from 2003 through 2005, going 6-7 with a 4.68 ERA.
Heath Bell pitched one season with the Miami Marlins, and was intended to be the closer in 2012. After spotty results and 19 saves in 27 opportunities, Bell was relegated to spot-work. Bell had collected 132 saves and made the past three All Star teams while pitching for the Padres, but did not replicate that with the Miami Marlins.
Joe Borowski saved 36 games for the 2006 Florida Marlins, going 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA and striking out 64 batters in 69 2/3 innings.
World Series Impact
Bonilla hit .297 for the 1997 Marlins, and Brown went 16-8 with a 2.69 ERA. Josh Booty went three-for-five in a four-game look.
In 2003, left fielder Brian Banks hit .235 in 92 games for the Florida Marlins. Beckett was 9-8 with a 3.04 ERA and 152 K’s in 142 innings. Bump was 4-0 out of the bullpen. Toby Borland pitched 9 2/3 innings and allowed only three hits.
More from Marlins All-Time Lists
- The top 5 starting pitcher seasons in Miami Marlins history
- Miami Marlins: The best general manager in team history
- Florida / Miami Marlins History: The “J” Team
- Marlins A to Z: The “H” Team
- Marlins A Through Z: The “G” Team
There’s a lot of “B” talent on their way to the major leagues. Last season’s first round selection J.J. Bleday is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve also got catcher Will Banfield, outfielder Davis Bradshaw, middle-infielder Bryson Brigman, and outfielder Peyton Burdick.
Pitching prospects on the verge of a major league career include Dustin Beggs, Sam Bordner, Evan Brabrand, Taylor Braley, and Parker Bugg.
Thanks for reading. Did I leave anyone out? Let me know what you think.