It finally happened. The Miami Marlins went through with signing Yuli Gurriel to a Minor League deal. This happened right after The Fish added depth at SS as well. Will Yuli Gurriel be useful? Will he decline further? These questions will of course be answered during the season, but until then we can take a look at what Kim Ng has with the new depth acquisition for first base.
The Miami Marlins finally signed Yuli Gurriel.
Yuli Gurriel is a veteran of 7 Major League seasons, all of them spent with the Houston Astros. He won two World Series with them (in 2017 and 2022). He also won four pennants with Houston (2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022). Since his debutin 2016, Yuli has batting line of .284/.328/.448. He proved himself to be a great contact hitter with moderate power and an above average ability to get on base.
Yuli Gurriel's best season came in the "juiced ball" 2019 season, when he batted .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI in 144 games and 564 AB. He never came close to that level of power before that season or since, which makes one wonder just how much he benefited from those juiced balls. It doesn't take away from the fact that he was still very good that season.
Yuli Gurriel's second highest home run total in a single season was actually the 18 homes that he hit during Houston's World Series winning 2017 season. Did Yuli add any awards to his resume'? Well, he did win won the AL Gold Glove award for his great work at first base in 2021, and he did finish fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in that same 2017 season. Yuli was never seen as a star however, and after batting .319/.383/.462 in 2021 in 143 games and 530 AB in 2021, he batted just .242/.288/.360 in 146 games and 545 AB in 2022.
Yuli Gurriel is not going to be a star in 2023, but he's solid first base depth and could even still be productive 9as he was during Houston's World Series winning playoff run in 2022). It's also nice to see another Cuban player signed by the Miami Marlins in o