Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Marlins Franchise Deep Three

Last time we did the Rockies, now it's time for that other 1993 expansion franchise, the one with higher heights and lower lows, the Florida/Miami Marlins. This team has been known for stockpiling talent and then giving it away in fire sales, so there were several short-term pieces that didn't make the three-season minimum.

1stJosh JohnsonCharles JohnsonDerrek LeeLuis CastilloMike LowellHanley RamirezChristian YelichCody RossGiancarlo Stanton
2ndDontrelle WillisJ.T. RealmutoGreg ColbrunnDan UgglaMiguel CabreraEdgar RenteriaCliff FloydJuan PierreGary Sheffield
3rdJose FernandezMike RedmondGaby SanchezDonovan SolanoWes HelmsAdeiny HechaverriaJeff ConineMarcell OzunaMark Kotsay

Ah, Josh Johnson. A star that burnt briefly but oh-so-brightly. Ah, Dontrelle Willis. The same, but to a slightly lesser extent. Will Jose Fernandez be the great Marlin pitcher who doesn't get hurt or flame out?

J.T. Realmuto's career is off to a good start, already the second-best Marlin backstop. Mike Redmond was a career backup, but he was quite serviceable in his day, and stuck around longer than most backup catchers do.

Third base was tough, as there weren't a lot of options. Miguel Cabrera only played third base full time in two seasons, but he saw significant time there in two other seasons, so I decided to include him. Besides, he's a future Hall of Famer. Ya gotta get him in somewhere. Wes Helms on the 3rd Team, though? Yikes.

Left field was surprisingly strong, as many teams don't have long-lasting players there; it's just a place to stick a solid-but-replaceable hitter. Christian Yelich has been inspiring in his brief career there, and there was enough depth that a solid guy like Josh Willingham missed the cut.

Hanley Ramirez was far and away the best choice at short, and the rest was a sea of average. Alex Gonzalez, a longtime Marlin, missed the cut for being mediocre. It's a mystery he lasted as long as he did.

I didn't expect Cody Ross to be the Fish's top center fielder, but he turned out to be better than Pierre, the guy I predicted would take the spot. A shame he's already forgotten.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Rockies Franchise Deep Three

Wow, are we really at this point? A Deep Three? Yes, for the last four franchises in this series, I shall only go three deep. Even for this one, some spots on the 3rd Team were difficult to fill. Let's see how the table turned out with our friends in the mountains, the Colorado Rockies.

1stUbaldo JimenezChris IannettaTodd HeltonDJ LeMahieuNolan ArenadoTroy TulowitzkiMatt HollidayDexter FowlerLarry Walker
2ndAaron CookJeff ReedAndres GalarragaEric YoungVinny CastillaWalt WeissCarlos GonzalezJuan PierreBrad Hawpe
3rdJhoulys ChacinWilin RosarioBen PaulsenClint BarmesGarrett AtkinsNeifi PerezCorey DickersonEllis BurksDante Bichette

First base and left field were hard to find a 3rd Teamer for. For first base, Mr. Rockie, Todd Helton, held it down for over half of the franchise's existence, and Andres Galarraga had a solid five-year run too. Justin Morneau also had a good season at the position, but with the three-year minimum required for this list, he couldn't make it. Ben Paulsen, enjoy your small claim to fame! Left field was hard just because it's one of those positions where several players tend to get tried, and I chose Dickerson because he seemed as good a choice as any.

Third base has been a surprisingly strong position for Colorado in its short history. Jeff Cirillo would've made the list had he played one more season with the Rockies, but there's no shame in having Garrett Atkins show up here.

Pitcher and catcher were surprisingly weak spots. Perhaps pitcher isn't too surprising, since the mile-high air is famously tough on hurlers, but you'd think there would've been at least one catcher better than Chris Iannetta. Nope. I suppose a quarter-century without ever having a great catcher isn't unheard-of in baseball, though.

DJ LeMahieu must be one of the most underrated players in the game. Who knew he was already the greatest Rockie second baseman of all time? Seriously, fans. Appreciate this guy.