Today’s edition of the Marlins All-Time Countdown features Jazz Chisholm, Xavier Scruggs, and four others.
The Marlins have had 630 players take the field in a regular season game through their first 28 seasons.
The six players featured today had between 20 and 74 plate appearances/batters faced while with the franchise, and came in slightly below replacement level.
471. Erik Cordier
Erik Cordier is a right-handed pitcher from Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 2004, he was a second round pick of the Kansas City Royals. Before making his way to the majors in 2014, he played in the minor league systems of the Royals, the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the San Francisco Giants.
Cordier did make his debut with San Francisco at the age of 28. He struck out nine in six innings, surrendering one earned run on five hits and two walks. The Giants kept Cordier mostly in their minor league system, including all of 2015 until his release on August 1. The Marlins signed him less than a week later.
Cordier was a part of the Marlins roster from August 18 through September 7, and appeared in eight games during that time. He collected seven strikeouts in 12 1⁄3 innings giving up eight earned runs on 13 his and six walks. Of his 217 pitches while with the club, 63 percent of them landed over the plate. His best performance was on August 26, when he struck out four over 3 1⁄3 hitless innings in a 7-2 loss to the Pirates.
Cordier was granted free agency after the season, and signed with the Boston Red Sox. He did not return to the major leagues.
470. Ed Vosberg
Left-Handed pitcher Ed Vosberg was the third round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1983. A Tucson native, Vosberg was taken off his hometown team, the University of Arizona. Three seasons later he made his debut with the parent club, pitching 13 2⁄3 innings for a 6.59 ERA.
It would be four more years before Vosberg got back to the majors. That was in 1990 with the San Francisco Giants, when he pitched another 24 1⁄3 innings and racked up a 5.55 ERA. Incredibly, it would be yet another four seasons before he came back for a third time, with the Oakland Athletics. Another 13 2⁄3 frames would see him put up a 3.95 ERA.
In 1995, Vosberg finally got some significant time in the majors at the age of 33. As a Texas Ranger for the next two-and-a-half seasons, he went 7-8 in 138 appearances, striking out 97 in 121 innings and posting a 3.64 ERA and a 1.479 WHIP. On August 12, 1997 the Rangers traded him to the Marlins for Rick Helling.
Vosberg played in 17 games for Florida down the stretch, pitching 12 innings and giving up seven runs (five earned) on 15 hits and six walks. He struck out eight and got sixty percent of his 235 pitches over the plate. In the postseason for the Marlins, Vosberg pitched 5 2⁄3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out five and didn’t figure into any decisions.
469. Brian Drahman
Brian Drahman is a right-handed pitcher out of Kenton, Kentucky. Twice drafted, he was more recently taken in the second round back in 1986 by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Miami-Dade College. He eventually played his first of three major league seasons in 1991 for the Chicago White Sox, for whom he pitched 43 innings and gave up 13 earned runs on 34 hits and 17 walks for a solid 1.19 WHIP.
After the close of the 1993 season, the Marlins purchased Drahman’s contract from Chicago. He pitched to a 6.23 ERA over 13 innings covering nine games. He gave up 15 hits in total, including two homers, walked six, and struck out seven. Fifty-nine percent of his 198 offerings finished over the plate, and he had three fielding chances without an error.
Drahman didn’t get back to the majors after that, but played seven more seasons of minor league, independent, and international baseball.
468. Jazz Chisholm
Jazz Chisholm is a 5-foot-11 lefty-batting righty-throwing middle infielder from Nassau, Bahamas. He signed his first professional deal through free agency with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 while he was still only 17-years-old. By 2019, he was a Southern League All Star for the Jackson Generals at the Double-A level. Two months after that, Arizona traded him to the Marlins for pitcher Zac Gallen.
Chisholm stayed in the Southern League after the trade, and slashed .284/.383/.494 with three homers and 10 RBI in 23 contests for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Without minor league ball available in 2020, the only hope for Chisholm to get real game experience was at the major league level. Even though he opened the year ranked 33rd in FanGraphs prospect listing, it wasn’t expected that he would play for the Marlins.
Chisholm did not get called up during the massive COVID-19 outbreak on the Marlins squad. Nevertheless, he did make his debut on September 1, and played in 21 games for Miami. He went nine-for-56 and scored eight runs, hitting a double, a triple (see GIF above), and a pair of homers with six RBI. He drew five walks but struck out 19 times. In 144 2⁄3 innings in the field, including 93 innings at second base and 51 2⁄3 at shortstop, Chisholm racked up a .986 fielding percentage by making one error in 69 total chances.
467. Jake Esch
The Florida Marlins spent their 11th round choice on right-handed pitcher Jake Esch in 2011 out of Georgia Tech. A St. Paul, Minnesota native, Esch ranked in the Southern League’s top 10 with a 1.20 WHIP and 7.28 H/9 surrendered in 2015. That resulted in him getting pushed to number nine on the Marlins prospect list according the the MLB Pipeline entering the following season.
Most of 2016 would see Esch ensconced with the Marlins Double-A club, at that point still known as the Jacksonville Suns. In 22 starts, he was 10-9 with a 4.03 ERA. On August 31 he made his first start for the Marlins in his major league debut. In 4 1⁄3 innings, he struck out two and allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks.
In three starts when all was said and done, Esch surrendered four homers in 13 innings, allowing eight runs, all earned, on 17 hits and six walks. He struck out 10, and put 63 percent of his 214 pitches over the plate. He went one-for-five from the dish, with a run scored and a pair of strikeouts. Defensively, he made one assist for a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Just as the 2017 season was about to get underway, the San Diego Padres selected Esch off waivers. He played in one game for them, walking the only two batters he faced. He hasn’t appeared in the major leagues since then.
466. Xavier Scruggs
Whittier, California native Xavier Scruggs was originally a 50th round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2005. Instead of signing for surely a $10,000 bonus (or less), Scruggs played three seasons with the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. In 134 games, he slashed .328/.427/.652 with 34 homers and 112 RBI.
Scruggs was then drafted a second time. In 2008, the St. Louis Cardinals chose him in round 19. It took Scruggs six seasons, but he eventually made his major league debut with the Redbirds in 2014. In parts of two seasons for St. Louis, Scruggs slashed .246/.295/.298 in 26 games. The Cards granted Scruggs his free agency following the season, and he signed on with the Marlins.
Scruggs played in 93 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs at the Triple-A level in 2016, where he slashed .290/.408/.565 with 21 round-trippers and 50 RBI. He joined the team in mid-August, and played in two dozen games for the Marlins.
Scruggs went 13-for-62 with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI at the major league level for Miami. He scored once, drew five walks, and struck out 20 times. He had three multi-hit games during his tenure with the club. Granted free agency after the season, no organization signed him. In 2019, he appeared in 57 contests for the Yucatan Leones in the Mexican League. He hit .262/.335/.471 with 11 homers and 31 RBI.