Kotsay was drafted by Florida in the first round with the ninth overall pick of the 1996 draft out of Cal State Fullerton. He was also known as "the Human Toaster," for his ability to "toast" runners out at the plate.
Kotsay made his Major League debut with the Marlins in July of 1997, hitting .192 in 14 games before going back to the minors.
His official rookie season was in 1998. He hit .279 with 11 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 154 games for Florida.
2000 was Kotsay's best season with Florida, hitting .298 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
In each of his three full seasons with the Marlins, Kotsay led the National League in outfield assists. He collected 55 over his time in Florida. He also hit .280 with 31 home runs and 179 RBI , along with 39 stolen bases during his tenure with the Fish.
Kotsay was traded just prior to the 2001 season along with Cesar Crespo to the San Diego Padres for Omar Ortiz, Matt Clement and Eric Owens.