MLB Top 5: Miami Marlins Outfielders

This is the fourth article in a series that looks at the five best players at each position for the Miami Marlins. In this installment are the outfielders.

The Marlins franchise might not have the depth that other teams have in their outfield, but the starters in South Florida match up well with some of the best in baseball. Included on the list is a trio of young stars from the mid-2010s who had a chance to win a title every year if management hadn’t traded them away.

The Best Outfielders in Miami Marlins History

Left Fielders

Honorable Mentions – The Marlins purchased Kevin Millar‘s contract from St. Paul of the independent Northern League, and he became a solid starter during his five-year run with Florida (1998-2002), which saw him split time between first base and left and right field. He batted over .300 twice, with his best season being 2001, when he posted a career-high .314 average with 20 homers and 85 runs batted in. Millar finished his Marlins career with a .296 average, 205 runs, 443 hits, 111 doubles, 59 home runs and 251 RBIs in 500 games. He won a title with the Red Sox in 2004 and also played with the Orioles and Blue Jays. After a one-year return to St. Paul, Millar turned to a media career, with his most famous role co-hosting the MLB Network show “Intentional Talk.”

Chris Coghlan began his career with a strong showing, playing in the 2007 MLB Futures Game and winning the Rookie of the Year Award two seasons later after setting career highs with a .321 average, 84 runs, 162 hits and 47 runs batted in to go with nine home runs. After that initial season, however, he spent quite a bit of time on the disabled list with neck, back and knee injuries. Coghlan suffered a torn meniscus during an attempted post-game “pie face” celebration that went wrong, ending his 2010 season early. In five seasons with the Marlins (2009-13), he batted .270 with 383 hits in 393 games.

5. Moises Alou – He spent just one season with Florida but is on the countdown due to his postseason performance. Alou was Rookie of the Year runner-up and also earned All-Star and silver slugger honors with the Expos before joining the Marlins in 2005. He was selected to the Midsummer Classic and finished 10th in the MVP voting after batting .292 with 88 runs, 157 hits, 23 home runs and 115 runs batted in, which is tied for seventh in franchise history.

Alou proved to be just a valuable in the playoffs, totaling seven runs, 13 hits, four doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs in 15 games. Although he didn’t win the MVP award in the World Series, he did earn the Babe Ruth Award for best playoff performance after he amassed six runs, nine hits, three homers and nine RBIs against the Indians.

Alou spent time with the Astros, Cubs, Giants and Mets before ending his 17-year career at age 41 in 2008. The six-time All-Star and two-time silver slugger received just six votes for the Hall of Fame in 2014 and fell off the ballot after one year.

4. Miguel Cabrera – His storied career was looked at extensively in his profile at third base, so only his time in the outfield will be noted here. The Venezuela native spent most of his first three seasons in left field (2003-05), while also getting some starts in right in 2004. Cabrera earned two All-Star selections and a silver slugger, and he finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Cabrera’s outfield totals include a .300 average, 246 runs, 459 hits, 78 home runs and 290 RBIs in 405 games. The two-time MLB Futures Game participant had a stellar 2003 playoff season, hitting four homers and driving in 12 runs in 17 games.

3. Christian Yelich – One-third of perhaps the greatest starting outfield in franchise history appeared in two MLB Futures Games before making his debut with Miami in 2013. Yelich won a gold glove in 2014 and a silver slugger two years later, when he had his best offensive season, batting .298 with 21 home runs, 98 RBIs and 173 hits. In five seasons (2013-17), he posted a .290 average, 369 runs, 719 hits, 146 doubles, 59 homers, 293 RBIs, 72 stolen bases and 1,070 total bases in 643 games.

Yelich was traded to the Brewers for a package of four players, with outfielder Lewis Brinson having the best time in South Florida. Yelich fulfilled his potential in his first season with Milwaukee, winning the MVP Award after leading the league with a .326 average, hitting 36 home runs and setting career highs with 118 runs, 187 hits and 110 RBIs. The following year, he won his second straight batting title and posted career-best totals with a .329 average, 44 homers and 30 steals to go with 100 runs and 97 RBIs. He produced another solid season with the Brewers in 2023 and has helped the club reached the playoffs three times in six years.

2. Cliff Floyd – Like Alou, he spent time with the Expos, beginnings his career as a first baseman before coming to the Marlins in a trade before the 1997 season. Floyd was primarily a pinch-hitter his first year before posting at least 20 home runs and 90 RBIs in three of his next four seasons. His best season was 2001, when he earned his only All-Star selection after smacking 31 homers and setting career highs with a .317 average, 123 runs (tied for third in team history), 176 hits, 103 runs batted in and 321 total bases.

Floyd played six seasons in South Florida (1997-2002). He had 661 hits, is tied for third in on-base percentage (.374) and ranks fourth in slugging percentage (.523), sixth in average (.294), eighth in doubles (167), RBIs (409) and stolen bases (90), ninth in runs (392) and home runs (110) and tenth in total bases (1,176). Floyd made the postseason roster but did not appear in the first two rounds. He walked and scored a run in Game 3 of the World Series and appeared in four games during the Marlins’ victory over the Indians.

Floyd was sent back to the Expos in an eight-player deal in mid-July 2002 and played just 15 games with Montreal before he was traded to Boston. He had four sold years with the Mets, then spent one season each with the Cubs, Rays and Padres before retiring in 2009. Floyd held a variety of broadcasting roles in his post-playing career, working with Fox, Apple TV and SiriusXM. He also works with a pair of charities. Pauze Innovations developed a liner for the inside of baseball caps that helps protect players from injury. In 2011, Floyd started his own Florida-based foundation to help students who have a financial hardship.

1. Jeff Conine – The man who became known as “Mr. Marlin” got his start with the Royals before being selected by Florida in the expansion draft. During his initial five-year run with the Marlins, Conine finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1993, earned two All-Star selections (including the MVP Award in the 1995 contest) and put together three consecutive strong seasons. In 1994, he hit .302 with 25 home runs and a career-high 105 runs batted in and the following year, set career bests with 175 hits and 26 homers to go with 95 RBIs and a .293 average.

Conine’s numbers fell off in 1997, but he was an integral part of Florida winning its first championship. In 15 postseason games that year, he scored five runs, had nine hits and drove in three runs. Like many of the stars from that title team, he was traded after the season, going back to Kansas City. Conine spent one season with the Royals and five with the Orioles before the Marlins re-acquired him at the trade deadline in 2003.

“Mr. Marlin” proved worthy of his moniker, driving in 15 runs in 25 games down the stretch to lead Florida to the World Series once again. Conine had 10 runs, 22 hits, one home run and five RBIs in 17 playoff games, and he smack 11 hits in seven games in the NLCS victory over the Cubs. He is one of just three players to appear for both Marlins championship teams, joining second baseman Luis Castillo and right-handed pitcher Rick Helling.

In all, Conine played eight seasons with the Marlins (1993-97 and 2003-05), staying in Florida two years after the second title then testing free agency. He ranks second in franchise history in games (1,014), third in hits (1,005), RBIs (553), fourth in total bases (1,579), tied for fourth in strikeouts (677), fifth in walks (376), sixth in doubles (180), seventh in runs (447), eighth in home runs (120), tied for eighth in average (.290) and tenth in on-base percentage (.358).

The 1993 fielding champion played for the Orioles, Phillies, Reds and Mets in his final two years and signed a one-day contract to retire with the Marlins in 2008. After his playing career, he became a special assistant to the president and worked as an analyst on Florida’s television coverage. Conine also competed in triathlons and, in 1998, became the first major league player to compete in the Ironman World Championships. When Bruce Sherman took over as Marlins owner in 2017, he fired several front office personnel, Conine included. After backlash, “Mr. Marlin” was offered a different job within the organization (in typical Marlins fashion, with a pay cut and a lesser role) and turned it down.

Center Fielders

Honorable Mentions – Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm moved to his spot from his previous home at second base to make room for Luis Arraez. The move worked out great, as Chisholm had 19 home runs, 51 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in just 97 games (thanks to a toe injury that required surgery), and Arraez set a team record with a .354 average in his first season with Miami.

5. Chuck Carr – After bouncing around the minors with four teams, he was selected from the Cardinals on the expansion draft. Carr’s biggest asset was his speed, which he showed with regularity during his three-year stint with the Marlins (1993-95). In the team’s first season, he led the league with 58 steals and set career highs with 74 runs, 147 hits and 41 runs batted in, which helped him finish fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Carr ranks fifth in franchise history with 115 stolen bases, and he batted .256 with 190 runs, 331 hits and 91 RBIs in 353 games. He spent time with the Brewers and Astros before retiring in 1997.

4. Cody Ross – He spent parts of five seasons with the Marlins (2006-10), coming to South Florida after his contract was purchased by the Reds. Ross was a solid starter with Florida, batting .335 in 2007 and setting career highs with 73 runs, 151 hits, 24 home runs and 90 RBIs in 2009.

The 2008 fielding champion was claimed off waivers by the Giants in August 2010 and paid immediate dividends for his new team. Ross was a part of San Francisco’s championship team that season and was named MVP of the NLCS after totaling four runs, seven hits, three homers and five RBIs in the win over Philadelphia. Ross also played for the Tigers, Dodgers, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Athletics during a 12-year career that ended with Oakland in 2015.

3. Preston Wilson – The son of Mets great Mookie Wilson was a first-round pick of his father’s team but was sent to the Marlins in the 1998 trade that brought Mike Piazza to New York. He began his career in Florida by finishing second in the Rookie of the Year race in 1999 after posting a .280-26-71 stat line. The following year, he batted .264 with 94 runs, 160 hits, 31 home runs and 121 runs batted in, a total that is the third-best single-season mark in team history. Unfortunately, he also struck out 187 times, which led the league and set a team record. He cooled off the next two seasons, but still hit 20 or more homers in four of his five seasons with the Marlins (1998-2002).

Wilson ranks eighth in franchise history with a .473 slugging percentage and tenth in both home runs (104) and stolen bases (87). He also batted .262 with 315 runs, 549 hits, 109 doubles and 329 RBIs in 588 games. He was traded to the Rockies in a six-player deal that also involved the next player on this list. Wilson was an All-Star with Colorado in 2003, won a title with St. Louis in 2006 and retired after the following season.

2. Juan Pierre – He was traded to the Marlins after spending his first three seasons with the other 1993 expansion team, the Rockies. With Florida, Pierre continued to get on base at a near-prodigious clip (he led the league in singles six times, including twice in the teal and black) and used his speed to his advantage. In his first year with the Marlins in 2003, he scored 100 runs, produced 204 hits and stole 65 bases, which led the league and set a team record. The following season, Pierre equaled his runs, stole 45 bases and topped the National League with 12 triples and 221 hits, which is a single-season franchise record.

Pierre ranks second in franchise history with 34 triples and is third with 190 stolen bases. During his four seasons with Florida (2003-05 and ’13), he batted .295 with 332 runs, 682 hits and 145 RBIs in 599 games. Pierre appeared in 17 games during the team’s championship run, totaling 12 runs, 22 hits, four doubles, two triples, seven RBIs and three steals.

The speedy center fielder was traded to the Cubs after the 2005 season for three players, including starter Ricky Nolasco. He also spent time with the Dodgers, White Sox and Phillies before returning to Miami for his final season in 2013.

1. Marcell Ozuna – He teamed with Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton to give the Marlins one of the most formidable starting outfields in baseball over the past decade. Ozuna hit 20 or more home runs three times during his five-year stay in South Florida (2013-17) The two-time All-Star had his best season in 2017, when he added gold glove and silver slugger honors and batted .312 with 37 home runs (tied for the third-most in team history) and career-high totals of 93 runs, 191 hits, 124 runs batted in (second) and 336 total bases (tied for fourth).

Overall, Ozuna had a .277 average. 318 runs, 683 hits, 123 doubles, 96 homers, 361 RBIs and 1,128 total bases in 653 games. In addition to his gold glove, he led the league in putouts and fielding percentage. After the season, Ozuna was sent to the Cardinals for four players. As part of the haul, the Marlins received pitchers Zac Gallen, who became a star with the Diamondbacks (after being traded for Chisholm) and Sandy Alcantara, who won the Cy Young Award in 2022.

Ozuna had two solid years with St. Louis and moved to Atlanta before the 2020 season. During the COVID-shortened campaign, he batted .338 and led the National League with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and 145 total bases. Ozuna was injured and missed the playoffs when the Braves won the World Series. After a poor 2022 season, he rebounded to post a .274-40-100 stat line with Atlanta in 2023.

Right Fielders

Honorable Mentions – Jesus Sanchez is the team’s current starter and has spent three of his four seasons (2020-present) at the position (2022 in center field). He has 109 runs, 216 hits, 41 home runs and 126 RBIs in 297 games to date. The 2018 MLB Futures Game participant appeared in two games with the Marlins in the 2023 playoffs, going 1-for-5 in the loss to the Phillies.

5. Jeremy Hermida – He appeared in the 2005 MLB Futures Game and had a brief call-up later that season. Hermida took over the starting role the following year and put together three solid seasons during his five-year run with Florida (2005-09). His best year was 2007, when he set career highs with a .296 average, 18 home runs and 63 runs batted in.

Overall, Hermida batted .265 with 222 runs, 452 hits, 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 516 games. He was traded to the Red Sox and spent time with four teams over the next three seasons. Hermida played in Japan during the 2014 season, which was his final baseball appearance.

4. Mark Kotsay – He played first base and center field, but most of his four-year run in Florida (1997-2000), he was in right field. Kotsay had three productive seasons, batting .280 with 221 runs, 463 hits, 31 home runs and 179 RBIs in 468 games. He also ranks seventh in franchise history with 22 triples and led all National League outfielders in assists twice. Kotasy had good years with Oakland and San Diego, and he also spent time with four other teams during his 17-year career. He managed the Athletics for the past two seasons, posting a 110-214 record.

3. Juan Encarnacion – He was a solid run-producer for most of his 11-year career and his time in Florida was no exception. Encarnacion’s best season came in 2003, when he had a .270 average along with 19 home runs and 19 stolen bases, and he set career highs with 80 runs, 162 hits and 94 runs batted in. He struggled a bit in the playoffs but totaled three runs, seven hits, two homers and three RBIs in 15 games, helping the Marlins win their second title.

Encarnacion was traded to the Dodgers in December 2003 and was sent back to the Marlins at the following year’s trade deadline. He batted .271 with 194 runs, 414 hits, 46 home runs and 223 RBIs in 415 games over four seasons (2002-03 and 04-05). The 2003 fielding champion won a title with the Cardinals in 2006 and was forced to retire after being hit in the eye by a foul ball while he was in the on-deck circle the following year. Following his playing career, he was involved in the political scene in the Dominican Republic.

2. Gary Sheffield – He started his major league career as a shortstop then switched to third base, a positing he played for the Brewers, Padres and even during his first season with the Marlins in 1993 (after he arrived in South Florida as part of the Trevor Hoffman trade). Sheffield converted to right field the following year and had three seasons with at least 20 home runs. His best by far was 1996, when he earned his only All-Star selection as a Marlin after hitting .314 with 118 runs, 163 hits, 42 home runs (second in team history) and 120 runs batted in (fourth). He also set single-season team records in walks (142) and on-base percentage (.465, which also led the National League), and his .624 slugging percentage ranks second.

“Sheff” appeared in 558 games over six seasons with Florida (1993-98). He is the all-time franchise leader with a .426 on-base percentage, and he ranks second in slugging percentage (.543), third in walks (424), seventh in home runs (122), ninth in RBIs (380) and tied for tenth in average (.288). Sheffield also had 365 runs, 538 hits 98 doubles and 74 stolen bases before he was sent to the Dodgers in the trade for Mike Piazza in May 1998.

Sheffield was an integral part of Florida’s run to the championship in 1997, totaling 13 runs, 16 hits, three home runs and seven RBIs in 16 playoff games. The nine-time All-Star and five-time silver slugger also played with the Braves, Yankees and Tigers before ending his 22-year career with the Mets in 2009. Sheffield batted .292 with 509 homers and 1,676 RBIs, but steroid allegations have hindered his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.

1. Giancarlo Stanton – He went by Mike in his first few seasons, which included an appearance in the 2009 MLB Futures Game as well as two solid years with the big-league club. Stanton’s power picked up after his name change, with him topping 20 home runs in each of his eight seasons with the Marlins (2010-17) and hitting at least 30 four times.

“Bigfoot” earned four All-Star selections and two silver sluggers during his time in Miami. He led the league in home runs twice, with his first coming in 2014, when he posted a .288-37-105 stat line, topped the N. L. with 299 total bases and was the MVP runner-up. Stanton won the award three years later, when he led the league with 59 homers, 132 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage and set team records in all three categories, as well as 377 total bases.

Stanton is the all-time Marlins leader in home runs (267), RBIs (672), total bases (1,983), slugging percentage (.554) and strikeouts (1,480). He batted .268 and ranks second in walks (487), third in games (986), runs (576) and doubles (202), fifth in hits (960) and ninth in on-base percentage (.361). Stanton was also a two-time Hank Aaron Award winner, a 2012 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, and he won the 2016 Home Run Derby with a legendary performance in San Diego.

The Marlins traded Stanton after the season when his value was highest. He was dealt to the Yankees for three players, including All-Star infielder Starlin Castro. Stanton face injuries with New York and, although the team went to the playoffs in five straight seasons, he has been selected to just one more All-Star team in the six seasons since the trade. He ended the 2023 campaign with 402 home runs and 1,031 RBIs in 14 seasons.

Upcoming Stories

Miami Marlins Catchers and Managers
Miami Marlins First and Third Basemen
Miami Marlins Second Basemen and Shortstops
Miami Marlins Outfielders
Miami Marlins Pitchers – coming soon

Previous Series

A look back at the Los Angeles Dodgers

A look back at the Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels Catchers and Managers
Los Angeles Angels First and Third Basemen and Designated Hitters
Los Angeles Angels Second Basemen and Shortstops
Los Angeles Angels Outfielders
Los Angeles Angels Pitchers

A look back at the Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Catchers and Managers
Kansas City Royals First and Third Basemen and Designated Hitters
Kansas City Royals Second Basemen and Shortstops
Kansas City Royals Outfielders
Kansas City Royals Pitchers

A look back at the Houston Astros

Houston Astros Catchers and Managers
Houston Astros First and Third Basemen and Designated Hitters
Houston Astros Second Basemen and Shortstops
Houston Astros Outfielders
Houston Astros Pitchers

A look back at the Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers Catchers and Managers
Detroit Tigers First and Third Basemen and Designated Hitters
Detroit Tigers Second Basemen and Shortstops
Detroit Tigers Outfielders
Detroit Tigers Pitchers

A look back at the Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies Catchers and Managers
Colorado Rockies First and Third Basemen
Colorado Rockies Second Basemen and Shortstops
Colorado Rockies Outfielders
Colorado Rockies Pitchers

A look back at the Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians Catchers and Managers
Cleveland Guardians First and Third Basemen and Designated Hitters
Cleveland Guardians Second Basemen and Shortstops
Cleveland Guardians Outfielders
Cleveland Guardians Pitchers

A look back at the Cincinnati Reds

A look back at the Chicago White Sox

Chicago Cubs Catchers and Managers
Chicago Cubs First and Third Basemen
Chicago Cubs Second Basemen and Shortstops
Chicago Cubs Outfielders
Chicago Cubs Pitchers

A look back at the Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Catchers and Managers
Boston Red Sox First and Third Basemen
Boston Red Sox Second Basemen and Shortstops
Boston Red Sox Outfielders and Designated Hitters
Boston Red Sox Pitchers

A look back at the Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles Catchers and Managers
Baltimore Orioles First and Third Basemen
Baltimore Orioles Second Basemen and Shortstops
Baltimore Orioles Outfielders and Designated Hitters
Baltimore Orioles Pitchers

A look back at the Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves Catchers and Managers
Atlanta Braves First and Third Basemen
Atlanta Braves Second Basemen and Shortstops
Atlanta Braves Outfielders
Atlanta Braves Pitchers

A look back at the Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Catchers and Managers
Arizona Diamondbacks First and Third Basemen
Arizona Diamondbacks Second Basemen and Shortstops
Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielders
Arizona Diamondbacks Pitchers

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