Isan Diaz (Photo by Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)

Continuing in our series of All-Time Baby Fish Teams, we make the jump up to AA to highlight the best members of the Jacksonville Suns/Jumbo Shrimp.

An MLB affiliate since 1962 and a Miami partner since 2009, the club continues to aid in the growth of some of baseball’s best such as Larry Walker, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw and Alex Rodriguez. In this listing, we will highlight the top Shrimp who became Marlins.

J.T. Realmuto (Photo by MiLB.com)

C J.T. Realmuto
Jacksonville Stats (2013/2014) –  .269/.340/.408, 68 XBH, 101 RBI

His second selection in our All-Time Baby Fish Teams Series, Realmuto spent all of 2013 and most of 2014 with the Suns where he totaled a .269/.340/.408 slash line with 68 XBH 101 RBI in 203 games. He threw out 47 of 84 or 56% of his potential base stealers. In the latter of his two stints with the Suns, Realmuto’s .299 BA, his .461 SLG and his 132 wRC+ each ranked fourth among all AA baseball catchers.

Realmuto made his MLB debut on June 5th of that same year. He went 2-4 with three RBIs. The showing served as a perfect prelude to a .279/.327/.442, 59 HR, 189 XBH, 243 RBI career with the Marlins including a .303/.343/.428 2016 campaign in which his BA ranked third, his OBP ranked sixth and his 111 wRC+ ranked seventh among 24 qualified MLB catchers. He threw out 28 runners, fifth most in baseball.

Solidified as one of the top backstops in the game, the Marlins dealt Realmuto, who was coming off his first All-Star selection and a career high 4.5 WAR campaign, to the Phillies last offseason for a package of prospects including future ace and the organization’s current top prospect Sixto Sanchez. Miami also acquired their current backstop Jorge Alfaro and international bonus pool money which they eventually used to sign the Mesa brothers.

Realmuto began his tenure in Philadelphia by recording career highs in homers with 25, RBIs with 83, slugging percentage with a .493 marker and dWAR with a 1.7 tally. He earned his first Gold Glove, his second All-Star selection and by way of the NL’s second best BA and second most homers among catchers, his second Silver Slugger award. A guy who has caught his power tool up to plus plus hitting mechanics and strike zone recognition, an elite throwing arm and insurmountable athleticism, Realmuto owns 4/5 tools and has already, in just over five seasons in the league, has a WAR over 18. He’s special.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

Logan Morrison (Photo by Bruce Lipsky/The Times-Union)

1B Logan Morrison
Jacksonville Stats (2009) – 79 G, .277/.411/.442, 8 HR, 26 XBH, 47 RBI, 46/63 K/BB

LoMo mojo.

A Marlins’ 22nd round prep draft pick in 2005, Justis Logan Morrison attended Northlake High School in Slidell, Louisiana. The son of a military man, Morrison has credited his su but stringent father as his toughest critic but also his greatest influence on his rise to stardom as a standout talent despite hailing from a scarcely recruited corner of America. A sign and follow prospect, the well-traveled Morrison spent a year in Missouri in the JuCo ranks where he hit  .436/.532/.743 with a conference most nine homers and third most 34 RBI in 35 games before he took his talents to the affiliated ranks in A Greensboro 2007.

As a a Grasshopper, Morrison immediately flashed his plus power potential, clubbing 24 homers, fourth most in the South Atlantic League. The mid-season All-Star also led Greensboro in RBI with 86, spurring his call to A+ the next season. Morrison took a huge step forward in 2008, hitting .332/.402/.494 in the pitchers haven Florida State League. While his K rate fell from 19 to 14 and his walk rate stayed around 10%, Morrison placed second in the FSL in BA, fourth in OBP and seventh in SLG. Among countable stats, his 162 hits and 38 doubles were each the most on the circuit, his 74 RBIs ranked sixth and his 13 homers ranked eighth.

Morrison began his 2009 season in Jacksonville but after just two games, he hit the IL with a broken thumb. A month later, the organization’s second-ranked prospect came back with a vengeance. From June 11th through the end of the season, LoMo hit .277/.411/.442 with the Southern League’s fifth best OBP, eight homers, 36 XBHs and 47 RBIs. Despite the big jump and missed time, he walked more than he struck out, tallying a 48/64 K/BB. His 0.18 walk percentage led his circuit.

A year later, Morrison was called up to AAA New Orleans where he hit .307/.427/.487. Once again, his OBP ranked top five in his league as his patience persisted evidenced by a 38/45 K/BB. Morrison received his first MLB call at the kid season mark and spent the rest of 2010 with the Marlins. His skill set immediately translated to the bigs advantageously as he hit .283/.390/.447 with 29 XBHs, 18 RBIs and a 51/41 K/BB in his first 62 games in Miami. Somehow, he didn’t receive a single Rookie of the Year vote.

Morrison would go on to have a decent career with the Marlins, but injuries prevented it from being great. After a .247/.330/.468 2011 season in which he finished second only to Giancarlo Stanton in homers with 23, Morrison appeared in just 93 and 85 games over his final two seasons with the Fish. Since then, LoMo has played for four different clubs. His standout campaign came in 2017 when he hit .246/.353/.516 and clubbed 38 homers for the Rays, fifth most in baseball.

As his bat and power grew, Morrison was able to maintain his equally large personality while also learning how to keep it in check. If not for injuries, he had a sizable future as a big leaguer. Even still, raw talent has allotted Morrison a decent .239/.324/.426 139 homer, 4.6 WAR tenure in the majors.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

2B Isan Diaz
Jacksonville Stats (2018) – .245/.365/.418, 10 HR, 30 XBH, 42 RBI, 95/53 K/BB

Before Isan was hitting his first big league shot in front of his parents, he was regularly collecting extra bases in Duval county.

A second round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2014, the lefty hitting Diaz — a two sport athlete in high school — came to the pros as the 76th ranked prep athlete in the country. At the time, PerfectGame scouted him this way:

“Solid athletic build, good present strength, looks stronger than last observed. Left handed hitter, big pull back load, flows into contact, timing can be impacted but approach develops big bat speed, explosive hands at contact, loose and fluid swing with lift and extension out front, has pull side power, owned mid-level pitching in every at bat and made hit look easy, advanced hitter with tools and feel. 7.22 runner, middle infield actions, stays balanced and works through the ball, plays under control and lows the game down, compact quick release, second base profile and tools. Can be a high level offensive second baseman.”

Diaz set out to fulfill that destiny with the D-Backs as a teenager in 2018. A year later, Diaz hit .360/.436/.640/1.076 for the short season Missoula Osprey. Those metrics ranked eighth, seventh and second and second in the Pioneer League. His 13 homers also ranked second circuit wide. That offseason, the ninth ranked prospect in Arizona was dealt to Milwaukee in the trade that sent Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner westward.

In his first year with the Brewers’ organization, Diaz embarked upon his first full season of pro ball. Then and there for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Isan hit .264/.358/.469. The 20-year-old’s 20 homers paced the Midwest League, his 75 RBIs placed third and his SLG was good enough for 13th. A year later, Diaz made the jump up to A+ Carolina where the 5’10, 170 pounder continued to exhibit plus power rarely heard of from of a middle infielder as he slammed another 13 homers and 20 doubles albeit at the expense of a lot of swing and miss potential, spelling a career high 27% K rate.

On January 25th, the Marlins acquired Diaz as a glorified throw-in piece in the highly-heralded trade that sent Christian Yelich to the Brewers. Despite his struggles at A+ a year previous, the Marlins started Isan out in AA Jacksonville. In 83 games with the Shrimp, his BA rose more than 20 points from a year previous to .245, his OBP rose 30+ points to .365 and he fell just three homers short of his 2017 total in 27 less games. After living out the rest of 2018 feeling out AAA, Diaz returned to New Orleans last year where he absolutely crushed against competition nearly five years older than him. In 102 games, Isan hit .305/.395/.578 with 26 homers. The All-Star Futures Game selection received his MLB call in early August.

Diaz made his MLB debut on August 6th, 2019 in the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets at Citi Field. With his family looking on, Isan provided one of the most memorable moments of the entire MLB campaign.

A stoutly built middle infielder who comes by easy power via incredible bat speed, Diaz has Marlins fans reminiscing of Dan Uggla.  And he’s still just 23. On the precipice of a breakout year, there’s tons to be encouraged about here.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

Jazz Chisholm (Photo by Joseph Guzy)

SS Jazz Chisholm
Jacksonville Stats (2019) 23 G, .284/.383/.494, 3 HR, 9 XBH, 24/11 K/BB

The next generation cometh.

Reminiscent of Albus Percival Wolfrick Brian Dumbledore, Jasrado “Jazz” Hermis Arrington Chisholm was born with a name made for fiction, but he’s beginning to conjure up something magical in real time.

Born February 1st, 1998 in Nassau, Jazz credits his grandmother, a Bahamian national softball player, for introducing him to the game. Immediately, he fell in love. Very early on in his scouting period, international scouts saw the special talents Jazz owner, talents that were already polished beyond his teenage years. With an attitude and affinity to match a huge five tool skill set, the Diamondbacks made an easy decision to offer Jazz his first pro contract in 2016.

Jazz’s first stop was short season with the Missoula Osprey. There, he hit .281/.333/.446 with the Pioneer League’ eighth most homers, nine. He was the ninth youngest player in the circuit. A season later, Jazz got his first full season assignment with Kane County but that duty was short lived. The 19-year-old tore his meniscus while taking BP mid-way through camp. He was placed on the IL on April 4th and would not return until October 6th. Chisholm got in just 29 games that year, equating to a .242/.325/.358 slash line.

Jazz broke back in to the Midwest League ranks in 2018. It was a bit of a slow go for Chisholm getting back into the swing of things full time after suffering a major injury. He hit just .244/.311/.472 in 79 games. But after a career 5-6, two homer, five RBI showing on July 16th in which he came within a double of the cycle, the D-Backs gave him the call the A+. There, in 36 games with the Visalia Rawhide, Jazz exploded, hitting 10 homers including six in his last 18 games and one in each of his last three contests. He closed out the 2018 calendar year by hitting .442/.489/.767 with three homers and seven steals in just 10 Arizona Fall League contests.

The third ranked prospect in Arizona’s organization, Jazz began last season in AA with the Jackson Generals. Through the month of July, Chisholm struggled with the big jump up the MiLB ladder. On July 30th, hitting .204/.305/427, he was traded to the Marlins in exchange for top pitching prospect Zac Gallen. Back on his home coast, Jazz showed out huge in 23 games for the Jumbo Shrimp, going 23-81 with three homers and a trio of three hit efforts. After playing eleven games worth of winter ball in Puerto Rico, Jazz reported to Marlins camp where he continued to impress, going 4-13 with two steals and an absolute missile-grade homer off of Cardinals’ top pitching prospect Genesis Cabrera.

Just as if not more impressive as his play on the field was Chisholm’s attitude and persona off of it. With an infectious personality and an equally captivating smile which he is rarely seen without, Jazz has already begun to endear himself to fans both at the park and in the community. In just seven short months as a member of the organization, Jazz has shown, said and done everything necessary to become a fan favorite franchise player.

A five-tool talent with some of the quickest hands in the game on both sides of the ball, Jazz is a guy who feeds off friendly competition and camaraderie with his teammates, the energy of the fans and most of all a profound love for the game of baseball. He plays the right way and conducts himself just as advantageously off the diamond. Still just 21 and already eyeing his professional debut, he is a major part of the Marlins’ future core.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

Brian Anderson

3B Brian Anderson
Jacksonville Stats (2016-17) – .247/.336/.405, 22 HR, 49 XBH, 95 RBI, 130/72 K/BB

Another repeat selection, Anderson, the Marlins’ third rounder out of the University of Arkansas in 2014. Ranked the Marlins’ top prospect in the preseason of 2016, Brian was one of the Florida State League’s top talents, hitting .302/.377/.440 before getting the call to AA. He joined the Suns on May 31st and hit .243/.330/.359 with eight homers and 40 RBIs. Following spring training a year later, Anderson rejoined the newly named Jumbo Shrimp. In 87 games — one more than he competed in at the AA level in 2016 — Anderson’s slash line jumped up to .251/.341/.450. Shedding a bit of timidity, he hit nearly twice as many homers, 14.

Anderson rounded out his MiLB career with New Orleans where he absolutely mashed the Pacific Coast League, slashing .339/.416/.602 with another eight homers before receiving his MLB call on September 1st, 2017.  Considered a major cornerstone of the Marlins’ rebuild, Brian has hit .267/.349/.425 with 31 homers. Coming off a .261/.342/.468, 20 homer, 1.1 dWAR, +9 dRS season at two different positions, Anderson, who is under club control until 2024 and staring a contract extension directly in the teeth, is a main pillar of Jeter and company’s rebuild.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

Christian Yelich (Photo by MiLB.com)

LF Christian Yelich
Jacksonville Stats (2013) – 49 G, .280/.365/.518, 7HR, 26 XBH, 29 RBI, 52/26 K/BB

Our third repeat candidate, Yelich, the Marlins’ first rounder in 2010, spent a 49 game tenure in Jacksonville in 2013 leading in to his first MLB call. Yelich earned his mid-season beckoning by posting the Southern League’s fifth best slugging percentage and its eighth best OPS (.883). He was the tenth youngest player on the circuit.

In just 292 games, Yelich went from draft pick to Major Leaguer. These days, he’s a three time Silver Slugger, a two time All-Star, a near two time league MVP and the recipient of a lifetime contract from the Brewers.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

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Juan Encarnacion (Photo by Eliot J. Schecter/Getty Images)

CF Juan Encarnacion
Jacksonville Stats (1997) – 131 G, .323/.394/.560, 26 HR, 61 XBH, 90 RBI, 86/43 K/BB, 17/3 SB/CS

Juan De Dios Encarnacion was saint-like in the two of the biggest years in Marlins’ franchise history. But before that, he was tearing it up at the Baseball Grounds.

Discovered by the Tigers as an amateur free agent out of the DR at age 17, Encarnacion fast tracked through the minors, jumping a level with each passing season from ‘94-97, hitting at least 15 bombs, collecting an equal 31 doubles and slugging at least .400 at each stop. The last of his visits was to Jacksonville. There, the 21-year-old, playing against competition 3 1/2 years his elder, Encarnacion absolutely exploded. In 131 games, the sixth-ranked Tigers prospect hit .323/.394/.560 with 26 homers, fifth most in the Southern League, 90 RBIs, ninth most on circuit and 17 steals, tenth most. The overly successful campaign came littered with awards including an All-Star selection where he was named the game’s MVP and the titles of Southern League’s best hitting prospect, best outfield arm and most exciting player (Baseball America). A September call up to the bigs, Encarnacion made his big league debut on the 2nd of that month as one of the youngest players in baseball. In 11 games, Juan went 7-33 and smashed his first big league homer.

After beginning 1998 in AAA, Encarnacion made it back to the bigs that July. Still amongst the leagues youngest talents, he hit .329/.354/.561 with seven homers. After that showing, he became a mainstay in Detroit’s starting lineup for the next three seasons. Encarnacion’s best campaign in a Tiger uniform came in 1999 when he hit .255/.287/.450 with 19 homers, 55 XBHs and 33 steals in 45 attempts.

In 2002, the rebuilding Tigers shipped Encarnacion (along with Luis Pineda) to the Cincinnati Reds for Dmitri Young. At the outset, it looked to be one of the best things that could happen to a pure power hitter like Juan, playing in the bandbox-iest of all bandboxes, Great American Ballpark. Hard as it may be to believe though, Enc actually hit better in a Reds’ away jersey. In four less games (39 vs 43), his average was only two points lower (.276 vs .278), he hit four more dingers (10 vs 6), his SLG was 50 points higher (.450 vs .500) and his wRC+ differed 12 points (114 vs 102).

At that year’s trade deadline, Encarnacion would be on the move again as the buying Reds dealt him along with Wilton Guerrero and Ryan Snare to the selling Marlins in exchange for Ryan Dempster. Juan made his Marlins debut on July 12th, 2002 and went 2-7 with a stolen base, his tenth of an eventual 21. Two days later, Enc crushed his first homer for the Fish. He would proceed to hit seven more and ended ‘02 with 24.

A season later in his first full year with the Marlins, Encarnacion .270/.313/.446 with 19 bombs. He posted career highs in doubles (37), XBHs (62) and RBIs (94). Some of Juan’s most memorable moments in Florida came during the Marlins’ playoff run where he homered in game two of the NLDS as well as during a two hit effort in the first game of the NLCS. He also went 2-4 and scored the eventual winning run in game one of the World Series.

After being sold off (along with many other Marlins assets) at the beginning of the 2004 season in exchange for Travis Ezi, Encarnacion would come back to Florida at the deadline (along with Paul Lo Duca and Guillermo Mota), completing one of the most peculiar timelines in Marlins’ transaction history. A season later, Encarnacion enjoyed a career year, posting lifetime highs in BA (.287), OBP (.349) and wRC+ (112) with 16 homers and 46 XBHs. In a very Larry Beinfest move, the Marlins did not render Encarnacion for 2006 and he signed with St. Louis. He hit .278/.317/.443 with another 19 homers and hit safely in seven of 13 playoff games en route to adding another ring to his collection as the Cardinals toppled the team that brought him to the pros 12 years previous.

A two time World Series champion, Encarnacion was a guy that could hurt his opponent in many ways and, based off his .276/.324/.421, 22 HR, 36 SB line in high leverage situations, a guy you prefer having on the field with the game on the line. The owner of 42.2 power speed number (link), eighth highest in Marlins franchise history, and the rightful owner of the “3, 2, Juan!” chant whenever he stepped into the box beginning midway through his career in South Florida, Encarnacion goes down in history as a slightly unheralded but extremely important piece of the Marlins’ success in the early 21st century.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

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Jake Marisnick (Photo by MiLB.com)

RF Jake Marisnick
Jacksonville Stats (2013) – 67 G, .294/.358/.502, 12 HR, 28 XBH, 46 RBI, 68/17 K/BB, 11/6 SB/CS

Marisnick is a Blue Jays’ third round pick from 2009 out of Cal Poly High School in Southern California. After hitting .320/.392/.496, marks which ranked seventh, eighth and tenth in the Midwest League in his first full season in the minors in 2011, Marisnick split time between A+ Dunedin and AA New Hampshire in 2012. He hit .249/.321/.399 and parlayed that effort into a .314/.380/.457 showing in the Arizona Fall League.

That winter, the 21-year-old 58th best prospect in baseball was dealt to the Marlins as part of the twelve player trade that was also responsible for bringing Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez and Anthony DeSclafani to the east coast of the US.

Shortly after the trade, Marisnick was assigned to AA Jacksonville. In 67 games with the Suns, Jake hit .294/.358/.502 with 12 homers and a 36% XBH%. He had the tenth best BA and eighth best SLG in the Southern League, earning the call to the majors in September. Following a trip to AAA and 14 more games with the Marlins in 2014, Marisnick was traded to the Houston Astros in the deal that brought Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez eastward.

Though he played a grand total of just 25 games in Miami, Marisnick’s growth with the organization prompted a so far solid career off the bench which took off in 2017 when he slugged .496 with 16 homers for the World Champion Astros. Though he didn’t play in the postseason that year, Marisnick did appear in 23 total games in 2015, 2018 and 2019. He went a collective 7-21 and the Astros went a collective 16-7.

More so than his bat though, Jake has become known for his defensive skills which are right up there with the best in baseball. Playing all three outfield positions, Marisnick has saved a total of 74 runs with his glove and arm, equating to an 8.9 dWAR.

Set to join a Marlins’ divisional rival, the Mets, in 2020, Marisnick is an extremely durable compliment to an MLB bench, capable of deciding a game with both his plus power bat and especially his flashy glove and canon arm.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

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Tom Koehler (Photo by Florida Times-Union)

SP Tom Koehler
Jacksonville Stats (2010) – 28 G, 158.2 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 145/46 K/BB

If you were a fan of pitching in 2010, TK Day in Jacksonville wasn’t a day you wanted to miss. However, he put in some serious work to grow to that point and didn’t stop grinding until he became a mainstay in an MLB rotation.

A native of the Bronx, Tom’s baseball career began in high school at New Rochelle High where he lettered in all three of his varsity campaigns. After being named league Rookie of the Year in 2002, Koehler had an even bigger senior season (58 IP, 0.86 ERA, 108/12 K/BB) which earned him some equally huge accolades such as a Rawlings All-Northest selection, All-Section and All-State honors, and a Section I Pitcher of the Year title. With fastball velo in the 91st percentile in his class and budding breakers, TK committed to playing collegiate ball at Stony Brook Universtiy on Long Island.

Koehler’s collegiate years started out pretty rudimentarily as he gave up more hits than innings pitched in each of his first three seasons. However, Koehler finished strong in his senior year, holding down a 4.15 ERA by way of a 1.43 WHIP, each career lows. In 14 starts and 93.1 IP, a conference high, TK’s 111 Ks led the America East Conference and his 10.7 K/9 ratio ranked second. With 17 wins by way of 297 Ks in 294 IP, the two-time second team All-Conference selection was enshrined in the SeaWolves’ Hall of Fame in 2016.

Noticing his growing aptitude for filling up and commanding the lower half of zone with improving stuff, the Marlins selected Koehler with the 238th overall pick in the 2008 Draft. Turns out the Marlins scouted Koehler perfectly. Following a 66 IP, 3.68 ERA, 1.44 WHIP 58/29 K/BB performance for short season Jamestown in his inaugural showing against wood bats, TK broke out in his first full season in the minors, starting with a 98.1 IP, 3.20 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 47.7 GB%, 82/39 K/BB tenure with A Greensboro and finishing with a 34.2 IP, 3.37 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 25/9 K/BB, 45.2 GB% visit to A+ Jupiter.

Koehler’s stop in Jacksonville came in 2010. It wound up being one of the best single seasons for a pitcher in Suns’ history. In the Southern League’s most starts (28) and second most innings pitched (158.2), TK had the league’s second best ERA (2.61), its best WHIP (0.96) and its second most strikeouts (145). His 8.22 K/9 ranked ninth on circuit. He was an All-Star at midseason and in the postseason, the league’s Most Outstanding Pitcher.

After inexplicably waiting out two full seasons in the hitters’ haven Pacific Coast League of the AAA ranks, Koehler finally got his MLB call and made his MLB debut on September 5th, 2012. His best season in Miami came in 2014 when he dealt to a 3.81 ERA (3.84 FIP) via a 1.296 WHIP and 2.15 K/BB ratio in 191.1 IP. Arguably TK’s most memorable career start came on May 7th of that year when he shut the Mets out over eight innings, limiting them to just two hits on one walk and five Ks.

Overall as a Marlin, Koehler tossed to a 4.43 ERA via a 1.39 WHIP and 1.85 K/BB in 767.1 IP. Though injuries marred him after his tenure with the Fish came to an end, the late round pick went above and beyond expectations, filling out as a serviceable back end rotational piece.

And it all ran through Jacksonville.

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Brad Hand (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

RP Brad Hand
Jacksonville Stats (2010-2011) – 20 G, 116.1 IP, 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 75/53 K/BB

Let’s close it out by giving the team a Hand.

Bradley Richard Hand is a Marlins’ 2008 2nd round pick out of Chaska High in Minnesota. As an amateur, he gathered up 18 wins and 246 Ks, a school record. At one point in his final season, the ace, who also played football and ice hockey, didn’t give up a run in over 20 IP (link). 8-2 with a 0.62 ERA along with a .352 BA and eight homers at the plate, Hand was named Minnesota’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2008. His coaches and area scouts labeled him the most exciting player they had seen since Joe Mauer. The Marlins collected Hand in the second round of the draft, awarding him a signing bonus of $760K.

After getting his feet wet in the GCL and Jamestown, Hand went through a staunch learning process in Greensboro in 2009, going 7-13 with a 4.86 ERA. His body held up well against the innings wear though and the strikeout metrics (111 K, 8.6 K%) were solid, giving the Marlins reason to give him the promotion to A+ in 2010. With park factors behind him, Hand gained confidence in his stuff. The Hand changeup took a leap and he was able to limit damage, pitching to a 3.33 ERA via a 134/49 K/BB despite being touched for a .278 BAA. Hand’s final start of the year was his first with Jacksonville. He tossed a six inning quality start.

Hand got the full-time promotion to AA when camp broke in 2011. Against upper minors competition three years his elder, hitters put the ball in play more decreasing his K rate. However, Hand’s ability to mix and command four pitches severely limited hard contact. On June 6th, holding down a 3.43 ERA via a 1.27 WHIP, .234 BAA and 45/27 K/BB, the Marlins brought Hand to the Show. That same day, the Marlins drafted Jose Fernandez. A day later, on June 7th, Hand made his MLB debut against the Braves. He threw a six inning quality start on just one hit, a solo homer but still took the loss. Four starts later, Brad picked up his first big league win following a 7 IP, two hit shutout performance against the Astros.

For the next two months, Hand skipped back and forth between Jacksonville and Miami until his last call-up when rosters expanded allowed him to end 2011 with the Marlins. 2012 and 2013 followed this same theme as Hand boarded frequent flights from New Orleans to Miami and vica versa. In the latter of those years, the innings started to catch up with Hand as he spent time on the DL with two separate ailments, prompting the Marlins to delegate him to a swing-man role. After struggling in each of 2014 and 2015, Miami designated Hand for assignment.

Hand wasn’t unemployed long. Five days after being DFA’d, the Padres claimed him off waivers and assigned him to a late relief role. In that capacity, Hand absolutely flourished and he hasn’t stopped, converting 88 of 111 save ops in the last four years. In his past two seasons as the anchor of the Indians’ bullpen, Hand has ranked seventh and fifth in saves. Simply put, the guy slams doors. Doors that only opened because…

It all ran through Jacksonville.