When looking at the Miami Marlins bullpen as a whole during the 2021 season, the group has certainly impressed over the course of 130+ games so far.
While veterans such as Dylan Floro, Richard Bleier, and others are a big reason for this, the Marlins have gotten phenomenal production from a few other players in particular, most notably Anthony Bender.
However, one reliever who has quietly had arguably the best season of all is 30-year-old left-hander Steven Okert.
Miami Marlins reliever Steven Okert having impressive 2021 season.
After starting his professional career with the San Francisco Giants back in 2012, Okert would reach the big leagues in 2016 with the Giants where he would also spend the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Appearing in 70 games during that time, Okert would post a combined 4.28 ERA across 48.1 innings pitched.
After being granted free agency after the 2019 season and not pitching a year ago, Okert would sign with the Marlins as a free agent back in February.
Okert would spend the early-part of the 2021 season down in Triple-A with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp where he posted a 1.80 ERA with four saves across 20 innings pitched. Totaling 29 strikeouts to only four walks during that time, Okert would earn a big league call-up in late-June where he has remained since.
So far across 22.2 innings pitched with Miami, the left-hander has posted an impressive 1.99 ERA and 0.926 WHIP with 26 strikeouts and eight walks. Currently tied for the lead in WAR among the Marlins current bullpen, Okert is on-track to pitch the largest single-season sample size of his career, and has notable career-highs already including strikeouts and K/9.
Primarily pitching in anywhere from the fifth through the eighth inning, Okert has only allowed a total of five earned runs so far this season, as well as a .171/.264/.355 slash line against.
Still under team-control for multiple seasons, Okert will most-likely factor into Miami’s bullpen plans in a similar role in 2022. The left-hander has had a strong 2021 season both in the big leagues and Triple-A so far – will it continue over the final month?