Mike Redmond was the best backup catcher in Marlins history.
Spring Training is finally here!
All the goodness of live baseball is finally back! I’ll be writing about that personally in a few weeks, but first things first.
I started this countdown back in the afterglow of the Marlins first playoff appearance in 17 seasons, back in October. Since then, we’ve briefly touched on the Marlin careers of 591 player. With only 39 to go, can you guess the top 10?
Players are “ranked” based on bWAR divided by their individual plate appearances and/or batters faced. Today’s pair not only played together, but share similar names.
39. Mark Redman
Six-foot-five left-handed starter Mark Redman could have started his professional career in 1992, when the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 41st round of the draft, but he had a different plan in mind. He played college ball for the University of Oklahoma, setting the school record with 136 K’s in 1994. He soon after went in the first round of the 1995 draft to the Minnesota Twins.
It took four years, but Redman made it to the majors with the Twinkies in 1999. In 2000, he finished the season ranked sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year vote. Near the 2001 trade deadline, they sent him to the Tigers for Todd Jones. I guess Detroit really wanted this guy, right?
A native of San Diego, California, Redman went 8-17 with a 4.29 ERA in just over a season with the Tigers, with a then-career-low 1.291 WHIP. A month before 2003 Spring Training, they sent him with minor league relief pitcher Jerrod Fuell to the Marlins for Gary Knotts (#329), Nate Robertson (#258), and minor league starter Rob Henkell.
Redman only spent one season in the Marlins rotation, but it was his best full season in the majors by most metrics (plus he helped them on the road to their second World Series Championship). He posted career-best marks with a team-leading 1.222 WHIP, a 3.58 FIP, a nearly identical 3.59 ERA, and 8.1 H/9. His 151 strikeouts was by far the most of his career, and he won a career-high with a 14-9 record, sharing the team lead with Brad Penny and Dontrelle Willis with his win total.
On April 24, Redman turned in his best start of the season with a GameScore of 81. He pitched a complete game, 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out 11 and walking only one in a four-hitter.
Redman didn’t survive the post-championship purge, getting traded to the Oakland Athletics for lefty-reliever Bill Murphy and PTBNL Michael Neu (#567). He later also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Atlanta Braves, and the Colorado Rockies, making the AL All-Star Team in 2006 with KC.
38. Mike Redmond
Mike Redmond was a 27-year-old catcher when he made his major league debut for the Marlins in 1998. He is the most prolific backup catcher in the history of the franchise, serving in the role for seven seasons.
Redmond, a native of Seattle, Washington, is a six-foot-one right-handed hitter and thrower. Undrafted by anybody out of Gonzaga University, the Marlins signed him through free agency in August, 1992.
Redmond had a really solid slashline for a backup catcher, considering the role of a backup backstop. He slashed .284/.348/.362 with 11 round-trippers and 132 RBI over his time with the team. More notably, he was a defensive stalwart in his time behind the plate, routinely throwing out baserunners at a clip 10 percent above the National League average. In 2002, he threw out 29-of-69 runners, a kill-rate of 42 percent — good for fourth in the Senior Circuit.
Redmond appeared in 484 games for the Marlins, which is actually good for 25th on their all-time leaderboard. His best game with the club, according to WPA, was on May 21, 2004. Redmond singled in the second, then added a two-run go-ahead double in the third against the Arizona Diamondbacks. His biggest plate appearance of the game, however, didn’t result in a hit. In the bottom of the 10th, with the bases-loaded, he drew a walkoff walk off reliever Brian Bruney for a 6-5 Marlins victory.
After the 2004 season, the Marlins granted Redmond free agency. He went on to play five seasons with the Twins and 22 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2010. He later went into coaching, racking up a 210-276 record in three seasons at the helm for Miami. He’s been the bench coach for the Colorado Rockies for the past five seasons.
Join us tomorrow for two guys who each played in the Marlins first-ever game.