These are Marlins' best offensive seasons

November 30th, 2020

MIAMI -- The Marlins’ record book is filled with remarkable individual achievements. Since the inaugural 1993 season, the franchise has had its share of notable performers.

In their history, the Marlins have had one Most Valuable Player Award winner, two batting champions and their share of All-Stars, Silver Sluggers and Gold Glove Award winners.

But among the best, which players truly had the greatest individual seasons in club history?

MLB.com answers the question by ranking the top five individual seasons by Marlins position players.

1. , 2017
Key fact: The franchise’s lone MVP winner, Stanton set season franchise records for home runs (59), RBIs (132) and more

After three straight injury-plagued seasons, Stanton showed what he can do when he stays on the field. He appeared in a career-high 159 games and turned in one of the top home run performances in MLB history.

In 2017, Stanton’s 59 homers were 20 more than his next challenger in the National League -- Cody Bellinger (39). He also paced the league in RBIs (132), slugging percentage (.631) and OPS+ (169).

For his monster year, Stanton received the National League Hank Aaron Award. Not surprisingly, he was an All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner, as well as a Gold Glove finalist.

Before Stanton's record-setting campaign, the Marlins' record for home runs in a season was 42, set by Gary Sheffield in 1996, and the RBI mark was 121, set by Preston Wilson in 2000.

The year was an important one personally for Stanton, who overcame plenty of internal demons. He dealt with injuries in previous seasons. The most serious came in September 2014, when he was struck in the face by a Mike Fiers fastball. That season Stanton still paced the NL with 37 homers in 145 games despite missing the final few weeks.

"I knew I had to bounce back from that," Stanton said in 2017, when he received his MVP Award. "But it was really people pushing me, my trainers, the people I work out with and try to get better with, they always pushed me. They always said, 'You can do this, you can be there.' And I knew I can do it, but I knew that it took more than talking about it. You had to show up every day, be prepared and do everything you need to."

2. , 1996
Key fact: Sheffield’s 42 home runs in 1996 stood for more than two decades as the Marlins’ record until Stanton in 2017

The Marlins’ original home, initially called Joe Robbie Stadium, was hardly hitter-friendly, especially in the 1990s. That makes what Sheffield accomplished in 1996 even more remarkable. Sheffield was a force that year, belting 42 home runs and driving in 120 runs while adding 33 doubles. Following Sheffield's emergence as one of the elite sluggers in the sport, his famous bat waggle and mighty swing have been imitated by young ballplayers in South Florida for decades.

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Sheffield’s '96 season was incredible. In 161 games, he hit .314 with a .465 on-base percentage (best in the league) and a .624 slugging percentage. A true hitter, Sheffield -- get this -- struck out just 66 times in 519 at-bats, and he drew 142 walks.

3) , 2009
Key fact: In 2009, Ramirez became first NL shortstop since the Pirates' Dick Groat in 1960 to win the batting title

Entering his prime, Ramirez in 2009 literally could do it all. At age 25, he became the Marlins’ first batting champion, and his .342 batting average remains the franchise’s single-season record. (Dee Strange-Gordon was the other winner, in 2015.) Voted by the fans as the NL starting shortstop in the All-Star Game, Ramirez finished second for the NL MVP Award, which went to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals. Ramirez hit .342/.410/.543 with a .954 OPS. He finished with 24 home runs, 106 RBIs, 101 runs scored, 197 hits, 42 doubles and 27 stolen bases.

4. , 2006
Key fact: Finished second to Freddy Sánchez of the Pirates in the NL batting title race

With Mike Lowell traded in the offseason to the Red Sox, Cabrera switched from the outfield to third base. At the plate, the then-23-year-old continued to establish himself as a budding superstar. He hit .339, finishing second to Sánchez (.344) of the Pirates. While his home run total dropped to 26 after successive 33 homer seasons the two previous years, Cabrera set a franchise record with 50 doubles. His .998 OPS that year was the best in his five seasons with the Marlins. Cabrera finished with 195 hits and walked 86 times to 108 strikeouts.

5. , 2001
Key fact: The lone All-Star season in Floyd’s 17-year MLB career

With a young nucleus of core players, the Marlins were on the cusp of becoming serious contenders. Floyd was a big part of those teams and showed immense talent. While Floyd ended up being traded to the Expos in the middle of the 2002 season, the left-handed-hitting slugger enjoyed his greatest single season in '01. Boasting a slash line of .317/.390/.578, Floyd had a FanGraphs WAR of 6.5. He connected on 31 home runs, drove in 103 runs and scored 123 runs along with stealing 18 bases.