Marlins' Top 5 homegrown Draft picks

February 12th, 2021

Since 1992, one thing has remained constant: the Marlins selecting future Major League stars in the MLB Draft. Whether it be a second-rounder who became a National League MVP Award winner or a heralded prep arm who turned into a World Series hero, here are the top 5 homegrown Draft picks in Marlins history.

1) (2007, second round -- 76th overall)
The Marlins swayed Stanton, a three-sport athlete at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., away from a USC football scholarship. Three years later, he debuted at the age of 20, when he still went by Mike. Stanton would become the franchise's only NL MVP Award winner in 2017 -- his final season with the Marlins -- by leading the Majors with 59 homers and 132 RBIs and pacing the NL with a .631 slugging and 169 OPS+. During his eight-season tenure, he was a four-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a Gold Glove Award finalist, Home Run Derby champion and the runner-up for the '14 NL MVP Award. Following that campaign, Stanton signed a then-North American sports record 13-year, $325 million contract. Despite a Marlins career mired by injuries, the right fielder remains the franchise's all-time leader in WAR (35.7), homers (267), slugging percentage (.554), total bases (1,983), RBIs (672) and advanced metrics like win probability added (23.0).

2) (1999, first round -- second overall)
The Texas prep hurler was as confident as they come. A September callup in 2001 as a 21-year-old, Beckett dealt with blisters off and on during his five seasons with the Marlins. Though he went just 41-34 with a 3.46 ERA and 118 ERA+ in the regular season, the right-hander lived up to his billing during the 2003 playoffs. Over six games (five starts), Beckett struck out 47 in 42 2/3 innings and posted a 2.11 ERA. In Game 7 of the NL Championship Series, he pitched four pivotal relief innings to send the club to the Fall Classic. Ten days later, Beckett cemented the Marlins' second World Series title and his MVP with a shutout -- his second of the postseason -- in Game 6 against the Yankees on three days' rest.

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3) (2002, fourth round -- 113th overall)
The 6-foot-7, 250-pounder, who grew up in Oklahoma, debuted as a 21-year-old in 2005 and was part of a young but surprising '06 Marlins ballclub that finished with 78 wins. Johnson went 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA in 31 games (24 starts) in a rotation that featured fellow rookie Aníbal Sánchez and Dontrelle Willis. Johnson was a two-time All-Star, including during his '10 season, in which he led the Majors in FIP (2.41) and homers per nine innings (0.34) and the NL in ERA (2.30) and ERA+ (180). He finished fifth in NL Cy Young Award voting that year. The right-hander remains the franchise leader in pitching WAR (25.8), ERA (3.15), WHIP (1.23), ERA+ (133) and FIP (3.20). A three-time Opening Day starter, Johnson got the nod in the inaugural game at Marlins Park during his eight-season tenure. Unfortunately, shoulder trouble cut his career short in '13 while with the Blue Jays.

4) (2011, first round -- 14th overall)
Despite having never pitched above the Class A Advanced level, a 20-year-old Fernández made the 2013 Opening Day roster when injuries affected the rotation. He would go on to be named an All-Star, win the NL Rookie of the Year Award and finish third in NL Cy Young Award voting. The following season, he underwent Tommy John surgery after just eight starts before returning to close out '15. Fernández put together arguably his best performance five days before his death, shutting out the Nationals over eight innings with 12 strikeouts. Across parts of four seasons and 76 starts, he accumulated 13.0 WAR (fifth in franchise history), 38 wins (ninth), a 150 ERA+ and 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Niño, who had fled Cuba and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen while in the Majors, was the epitome of the American Dream to the Miami community.

5) (1992, first round -- 28th overall)
The first pick in Marlins history was a University of Miami product at one of the most important defensive positions. Johnson debuted as a 22-year-old in 1994, but he didn't become the primary catcher until the following season. By '97, he was making the All-Star team, compiling 4.4 WAR, receiving NL MVP Award votes and working behind the dish for the Marlins' first World Series championship. You won't find Johnson among the franchise leaders in offensive categories, but he won four straight Gold Glove Awards from '95-98. In '97, he didn't commit an error -- one of just three catchers to achieve the feat with at least 120 games in a season. Johnson returned to the Marlins in 2001 for a two-year stint, during which he was named an All-Star for the second time of his career.