Happy Holidays, and welcome to Chapter 69 of the All-Time Marlins Countdown
Good morning, and Happy Holidays to Miami Marlins nation. Today’s countdown article — Chapter 69 — features another four players from the Marlins first 28 seasons of play.
Today’s group of four all fall within the 250-to-799 PA/BF bracket, and all posted a brWAR below replacement level through their time with Florida/Miami.
238. Dan Miceli
Dan Miceli is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Newark, New Jersey. In 1990, aged 19, he signed his first professional deal to play in the Kansas City Royals system. At the 1993 trade deadline, they sent him to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Jon Lieber for Stan Belinda. A month later, on his 23rd birthday, he made his major league debut.
Miceli played four seasons for the Pirates, and came out of the bullpen 130 times along with nine starts. He then played two seasons with the San Diego Padres, making an additional 133 relief appearances. Prior to appearing with the Marlins, Miceli was 25-27 with a 4.77 ERA and 361 whiffs in 400 1⁄3 innings. After the 1999 season concluded, the Padres traded him to the Marlins for Brian Meadows.
Miceli posted a 6-4 record in his first season for Florida, with a 4.25 ERA over 48 2⁄3 innings. He posted a 4.25 ERA and struck out 40, registering a team-best 1.295 WHIP, minimum 30 innings. Miceli held opponents to a .242/.311/.355 slashline, getting an impressive 64 percent of his offerings over the plate. Maybe most impressively, he stranded 13-of-14 inherited baserunners.
On April 16, Miceli came into a 5-5 tie against the Chicago Cubs, with two runners and one out. He then struck out Glenallen Hill and got Eric Young to fly out. After opening the ninth with a pair of walks, he struck out Mark Grace and Henry Rodriguez before getting Shane Andrews to fly out. He earned the win on a Cliff Floyd home run in the top of the 10th inning.
Miceli was less of a standout for the Marlins in 2001. He played in 29 games, but went 0-5 with a 6.93 ERA, a 1.622 WHIP, and a .287/.354/.495 opposing slashline. Despite the bad stuff, he hit a career-high with 11.3 K/9 over 24 2⁄3 innings. On May 3, he pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out the side on 11 pitches in an 8-3 win against the San Francisco Giants. On June 25, the Marlins released Miceli.
237. Garrett Jones
Garrett Jones is a six-foot-five first baseman out of Harvey, Illinois. In 1999, the Atlanta Braves took him in the 14th round out of Victor J Andrew HS. He played in their minor league system for three years, but got released in 2002. The Minnesota Twins signed him three days later, and it was with them for whom Jones made his major league debut in 2007.
Jones went 16-for-77 from the plate for the Twins that year, but didn’t get back to the majors in 2008. Granted free agency after that season, he inked a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He ended up playing five full seasons with the Bucs, appearing in 677 games and hitting .256/.318/.462 with 100 home runs and 325 RBI. Granted free agency once more following 2013, Jones signed with the Marlins through free agency.
Jones, who turned 33 in the middle of his lone season with the Marlins, ranked third on the club with 146 appearances. He went 122-for-496 from the plate for a .246 average, with 33 doubles, a pair of triples, and 15 long-balls. He totaled 53 RBI, scored 59 runs, drew 46 walks, and struck out 116 times. His OPS+ said he was above average, but just barely, at 101.
From May 12 through May 23, Jones went 17-for-38 with 10 extra base hits and 10 RBI to his credit. Through the season, he had 30 multi-hit games, including nine where he collected three or more. His best effort of the season, going by WPA, was on May 20 in a 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Jones batted fifth and went four-for-five with a pair of doubles and two RBI.
Defensively, Jones played 1080 1⁄3 innings at first base for Miami, making 13 errors to land on a .988 fielding percentage. He also played 60 innings in right field, making eight plays without an error. After the conclusion of the season, the Marlins traded him, along with Nathan Eovaldi and Domingo German to the New York Yankees for Martin Prado, David Phelps, and cash. Jones hit .215 in 57 games for the Bombers, and did not appear following the 2015 campaign.
236. Rafael Medina
Rafael Medina is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Panama City, Panama. In 1992, he signed a deal to play in the Yankees system, at the age of 17. In early 1997, then ranked as the number 64 prospect in baseball by Baseball America, he was traded to the San Diego Padres. Post-1997, the Friars flipped him to the Marlins with Steve Hoff and Derrek Lee for Kevin Brown.
That year, Medina was part of Florida’s post-Championship hangover. He joined the rotation for four turns in April, then took another eight shots over the final six weeks of the season. He struck out 49 in 67 1⁄3 innings, allowing 50 runs on 76 hits and 52 walks for a 1.901 WHIP and a 6.01 ERA. Opponents slashed .289/.407/.479 through 327 plate appearances, as Medina put just 58 percent of his pitches in the strike zone.
Even Medina’s best wasn’t really very good during the stretch. On August 20, in his first start back from his minor league exodus, Medina put up a season-best 61 GameScore in a no-decision. In a 2-1 Marlins loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Medina allowed one run on five walks and four hits in 6 2⁄3 innings, striking out four.
Medina rejoined the Marlins in 1999 as a reliever, coming into 20 games out of the bullpen. He struck out 16 in 23 1⁄3 innings, giving up 15 runs on 20 hits and 20 walks. His 1.714 WHIP, which was admittedly an improvement from the season prior, wasn’t good enough to consider keeping him around. Opponents hit .227/.376/.386 in 110 plate appearances, and he only allowed two-of-15 inherited runners to cross the plate.
As a hitter, Medina had one hit in 19 plate appearances, with six sacrifice hits and six strikeouts. In 11 total fielding chances, he finished his major league career with a 1.000 fielding percentage. After the close of his second season with the Fish, the Atlanta Braves selected Medina off waivers from Florida. He ended up playing minor league ball for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001 before joining the Mexican League in 2002.
235. Brian Ellington
Brian Ellington is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Gainesville. In 2012, the Marlins chose him in the 16th round out of the University of West Florida. In 2015, he got into his first major league contests, pitching for the parent club level 23 times starting in August. In 25 innings, he struck out 18 and managed to put up a 1.200 WHIP, allowing 17 hits and 13 walks. Opponents slashed out a .193/.305/.307 line while Ellington got 61 percent of his pitches over the plate, stranding five-of-six inherited runners.
Ellington opened the 2016 season as the Marlins number 26 prospect according to Baseball America. He appeared in 64 games for the club, with 32 each at the Marlins Triple-A level New Orleans Zephyrs and with the parent club.
For Miami, Ellington struck out 32 in 33 frames, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 27 hits and 16 walks for a 1.303 WHIP. The opposition hit .223/.321/.331 over 142 plate appearances, while Ellington put 63 percent of his offerings in the black. On June 24, he entered a contest with the Marlins trailing the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, and struck out four over two near-perfect innings (he hit a batter). Miami didn’t win that one.
In 2017, Ellington joined the big club for 42 games, racking up a 7.25 ERA in 44 2⁄3 innings. Although his whiff-rate went up, with 48 K’s for a 9.7 K/9, his WHIP also took a sharp northward turn, to 1.858, and Ellington surrendered seven homers and hit six batters. The opposition feasted on his pitching to the tune of .270/.406/.466, as he struggled to get the ball over the plate, with a 58 percent strike-rate, walking 35.
On August 16, Ellington came into pitch in the six inning with the Marlins ahead of the San Francisco Giants, 7-1, and fanned four over two perfect innings. The Marlins eventually won, 8-1. After Spring Training in 2018, the Marlins cut ties with Ellington.
Ellington went on to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks through free agency, then later with the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners. He has yet to make it back to the major leagues, and is currently still a part of Seattle’s system.