Miami Marlins career retrospective: Josh Beckett

“Beckett picks it up, tags Posada and the Florida Marlins are World Champions!” That call ended Game 6 of the 2003 World Series, with Josh Beckett pitching a complete game shutout of the New York Yankees on the way to the Miami Marlins (then Florida Marlins) winning the World Series. We wrote about that season before. Beckett immediately became one of the most highly valued aces in the game and it seemed that he was going to dominate for many more seasons. It didn’t quite turn out that way and Beckett ended up being traded to Boston on November 24, 2005. How did Beckett’s career ultimately look in Miami?

Josh Beckett looked to be a long-term ace for the Miami Marlins.

Josh Beckett came to Miami with a lot of hype as the second pick of the 1999 draft. The highly touted prospect made his debut in 2001 starting 4 games and pitching 24 innings. He went 2-2 with a 1.50 ERA/4.17 FIP and 9.0 K/9. Beckett followed that up in 2002 with 107.2 innings of 4.10 ERA/3.69 FIP ball and 9.4 K/9. At this point you could tell that he had potential, but a breakout season was yet to come.

Josh Beckett officially broke out in 2003 by going 6-7 with a 3.04 ERA/2.94 FIP in 142.0 IP. He also added 9.6 K/9 continually improving across the board. Beckett followed up with an amazing playoff performance: 2-2  2.11 ERA in 42.2 IP along with his outstanding Game 6 of the World Series: 9.0 IP 0 ER 2 H 2 BB 9 SO. It was an iconic performance for the ages and should’ve been the beginning of a Hall of Fame career.

Josh Beckett underwhelmed in 2005 going 9-9 with a 3.79 ERA/3.59 FIP and 8.7 K/9 in 156.2 IP. He improved in 2005 going 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA/3.27 FIP with 8.4 K/9. It was a good year but he still was unable to go for 200 innings, ultimately just giving the Miami Marlins 178.2 IP. Beckett’s salary rose in arbitration and *cough* “financially conscious” ownership decided to trade him…

How is Josh Beckett remembered as a Miami Marlin? He was a key figure in our 2003 World Championship, but never had a Cy Young caliber season (or even votes) and his time on the team was ultimately brief. It’s definitely not the long-term outlook that was likely expected when he was drafted, but then again that 2003 World Series is enough of a highlight that his career may have ultimately been a success in Miami.