South Florida kids to play for the Marlins

January 8th, 2021

Florida is fruitful when it comes to baseball talent. But until the Marlins joined Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1993, there were no teams in the state to capitalize on homegrown players.

Below is a list of players who either were born in or went to high school in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties) and appeared for the hometown team, as listed in alphabetical order:

INF (Miami)
It's only fitting that Alvarez, who put baseball on hold for years to win a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, made his MLB debut for the Marlins in '20. The Christopher Columbus High alumnus went 7-for-37, made a game-saving catch and remains in the organization.

LHP Juan Alvarez (Coral Gables)
Alvarez attended Coral Gables High and St. Thomas University, which lies four miles from the Marlins' old ballpark in Miami Gardens. He signed with the organization as a free agent in February 2003 and posted a 3.09 ERA in nine relief appearances -- his final ones in the big leagues.

Though he was born in Mexico, Amezaga attended Miami High. The "Amazin' Amezaga" served two stints with the Marlins (2006-09, '11), slashing .255/.315/.339 with 39 doubles, 17 triples and eight homers in 437 games. The fan favorite appeared at every position except catcher and pitcher during a nine-year career.

INF (Miami)
A second-round Draft pick by the Marlins in 2002 out of Miami Southridge High, Andino played sparingly for them during the first four seasons of his 10-year career. He slashed .201/.250/.299 in 79 games before finding some success with the Orioles over the next four seasons. Andino returned to Miami in 2016, going 7-for-24 in 13 games.

LHP (Miami Beach)
Dealt to the Marlins from the Orioles after the COVID-19 outbreak, he compiled a 2.63 ERA in 19 appearances. Bleier, who attended South Plantation High, looks to be a valuable bullpen piece moving forward.

OF (Fort Lauderdale)
A Coral Springs High product, Brinson grew up with Juan Pierre as his favorite player. When Brinson got dealt to the Marlins as a top prospect, he requested No. 9 to honor the 2003 World Series champion. Through parts of three seasons, the hometown kid has slashed .195/.242/.305 with 14 homers in 231 games. Still, Brinson played a part in helping the 2020 Marlins reach the postseason for the first time since that '03 squad.

OF John Cangelosi
Born in Brooklyn, Cangelosi attended Miami Springs High and Miami-Dade Community College before being selected by the White Sox in the 1982 MLB January Draft-Regular Phase. He spent 1997-98 with the Marlins, slashing .248/.342/.309 and winning the World Series as part of a 13-year career.

OF (Miami)
One of the best South Floridians to play the game, Dawson spent the final two seasons of his 21-year Hall of Fame career with the Marlins, from 1995-96. The Southwest Miami High grad slashed .261/.306/.430 with 10 homers in 121 games

OF Orestes Destrade
Born in Cuba, Destrade attended Christopher Columbus High. After a four-year absence from the Majors (1989-92), he made his return with the Marlins, slashing .246/.322/.396 with 25 homers from '93-94 to close out his big league career. Destrade is a FOX Sports Sun analyst for Rays broadcasts.

RHP Brian Drahman
Drahman is a Kentucky native who went to Northeast High in Oakland Park then Miami-Dade Community College. He recorded a 6.23 ERA in nine relief appearances -- the final ones of his MLB career -- in 1994 for the Marlins.

C Jorge Fabregas (Miami)
The Marlins acquired the Christopher Columbus High and University of Miami alumnus as part of an offseason trade with the Mets in 1998. The nine-year veteran slashed .206/.289/.309 in 82 games for the 1999 Marlins before being released in August.

RHP Alex Fernandez (Miami Beach)
Fernandez attended Monsignor Edward Pace High, the University of Miami and Miami-Dade Community College, where he won the Dick Howser Trophy, before the White Sox selected him fourth overall in 1990. Fernandez, who signed with the Marlins ahead of the 1997 season, was unavailable for the World Series after sustaining a shoulder injury. He put together a 28-24 record with a 3.59 ERA in 64 starts for the Marlins during the final three seasons of a 10-year career.

PH (Miami)
When the Cubs released the Miami Jackson High and Miami-Dade Community College product in August 2003, the Marlins scooped him up. Harris went 4-for-14 to close out the regular season and 1-for-4 during the Marlins' World Series title run. The pinch-hit specialist slashed .255/.299/.345 with two homers and 30 RBIs across 177 plate appearances for the Marlins from 2004-05 to close out his career.

Though he was born in Honolulu, the Opening Day starter for the Marlins' inaugural game attended Hialeah High. Hough, who pitched six innings in a win over the Dodgers on April 5, 1993, finished his 25-year career with the hometown team from '93-94. During that stretch, the knuckleballer went 14-25 with a 4.58 ERA in 55 starts. Hough was the last active player to have been born in the '40s upon his retirement at age 46.

RHP Bill Hurst (Miami Beach)
Hurst graduated from Miami Palmetto High before the Marlins existed. In 1996, he pitched two scoreless relief innings for the Marlins in his only big league appearances.

RHP Hansel Izquierdo
Born in Cuba, he attended Miami High and Southwest Miami High before the Marlins selected him in the seventh round of the 1995 MLB Draft. Izquierdo went 2-0 with a 4.55 ERA in 20 games (two starts) in his only big league season.

We'll make an exception for the first Draft pick in franchise history. Johnson was born and raised in Fort Pierce, Fla., but he played collegiately for the University of Miami. Johnson was the catcher for the 1997 World Series championship club, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner and an All-Star during his seven-year tenure with the Marlins. A master behind the plate, he is one of only three backstops in Major League history to catch at least 100 games in a single season without committing an error and one of only four to win a Gold Glove Award in his rookie season.

LHP (Palm Beach Gardens)
Jones, who attended William T. Dwyer High, threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings across three outings in 2010, but he never pitched in the Majors again.

RHP (Plantation)
After being taken in the 16th round by the Marlins in 2013, the Twins selected Kinley in the Rule 5 Draft four years later. The Nova High and Barry University alumnus was returned to the Marlins in 2018. Kinley posted a 4.11 ERA in 61 relief appearances for Miami from 2018-19 before Colorado claimed him off waivers last offseason.

LHP Joe Klink
Attended Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory and St. Thomas University. He went 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA across 59 relief outings for the Marlins in 1993.

Though he was born in Virginia, Latos attended Coconut Creek High and Broward Community College. The Marlins acquired the six-year veteran with a 3.34 career ERA in December 2014 from the Reds for Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach. But after going 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA in 16 starts for the Marlins, Latos was dealt as part of a three-team trade that July.

Born in Puerto Rico, Lowell attended Coral Gables High and Florida International University. After an eight-game stint with the Yankees in 1998, he returned to South Florida and became the best third baseman in club history. Over seven seasons with the Marlins, Lowell made three All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award and captured the 2003 World Series. Lowell and Josh Beckett joined the Red Sox following an offseason trade in November 2005, with Lowell being named World Series MVP in '07.

INF (Miami)
An American Heritage High grad, Marrero went hitless in five at-bats for the Marlins in 2019 after stints with the Red Sox ('15-17) and D-backs ('18).

OF (Fort Lauderdale)
Mattison was hitless in five at-bats in 2012 in his only taste of the Majors.

1B/OF (Fort Lauderdale)
After winning a World Series with the Giants in 2014, the Nova High product decided to come home and sign with the Marlins. His stint wouldn't last long, however, as he was part of the same three-team deal as Latos ahead of the Trade Deadline. Morse slashed .213/.276/.313 with four homers in 53 games.

Born in Georgia, he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale before being selected fifth overall in the 1992 MLB Draft out of the University of Central Florida. He went hitless in seven at-bats for the Marlins in 2001, appearing in five of his 59 career MLB games.

LHP Rob Murphy (Miami)
The Christopher Columbus High grad was selected third overall in the 1981 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase by the Reds out of the University of Miami. His 11-year career ended with the Marlins in 1995, when he compiled a 1-1 record and 9.82 ERA in eight relief outings.

1B/OF (Hialeah)
The Yankees selected the Braddock High/University of Miami product in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. O'Brien showcased big power but also a propensity for strikeouts. From 2018-19, O'Brien clubbed five homers in 36 games for the Marlins, who acquired him from the Dodgers for cash.

RHP (Miami)
The Braddock High and Barry University alumnus was part of the Matt Lindstrom-Jason Vargas trade with the Mets in 2006. Owens went 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in 22 relief outings for the Marlins in 2007, but he never pitched in the Majors again.

RHP (Fort Lauderdale)
Drafted by the Reds in the 22nd round out of Pompano Beach Ely High, Riedling posted a 4-1 record with a 7.16 ERA in 29 relief outings for the Marlins in 2005. He didn't pitch in The Show again, closing out a six-year career.

UTIL (Miami)
The 13-year veteran made the hometown Marlins his sixth Major League team in 2020, but a bout with COVID-19 delayed his debut. The Braddock High grad went 2-for-13 in four games. His brother, Robert, is Miami's assistant hitting coach.

C (West Palm Beach)
Fresh off a World Series title with the Red Sox in 2013, Salty signed a three-year deal with the Marlins. He slashed just .220/.320/.362 in 114 games in 2014, and after opening the following season 2-for-29 (.069), the Marlins released him to make way for then-prospect J.T. Realmuto.

1B (Miami)
Sanchez attended Brito Miami Private School and the University of Miami before the Marlins selected him in the fourth round of the 2005 MLB Draft. Sanchez slashed .260/.334/.422 with 43 homers across five seasons with the Marlins, making the All-Star team in 2011. He has appeared as an analyst for FOX Sports Florida Marlins broadcasts since his retirement.

RHP (Margate)
When a COVID-19 outbreak sidelined most of the bullpen after the first weekend of the 2020 season, Smith took over long-relief duties, recording a 6.84 ERA in 16 outings (one start).

The Marlins selected the Cuba native in the sixth round of the 1995 MLB Draft out of Southwest Miami High. He went 11-13 with a 4.95 ERA and three saves in 102 games (27 starts) from 1999-2004 for the hometown team.

RHP (Miami)
Taken by the Marlins in the 27th round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Florida State, he surrendered eight runs over three innings in his MLB debut on June 15, 2011, and never reached The Show again.

RHP (Palm Beach Gardens)
The Marlins' first-round pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, Volstad impressed with a 6-4 record and 2.88 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) as a rookie in '08. But he struggled over the next three seasons, going 26-35 with a 4.88 ERA. Volstad was dealt to the Cubs for Carlos Zambrano and cash ahead of Spring Training in 2012.