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Miami Marlins Top 50 Of All-Time: 15. Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee was acquired from the San Diego Padres just after the Marlins won their first title and traded just after they won their second. He had four seasons of 20+ home runs and a Gold Glove for Florida.

Derrek Lee, Florida Marlins, 2002
Derrek Lee, Florida Marlins, 2002

The San Diego Padres chose Lee in the first round (14th pick overall) of the 1993 amateur draft. He hit .259 in 22 games in his first Major League action in 1997.

He was traded with Steve Hoff and Rafael Medina to the Marlins for Kevin Brown as part of the 1997 post-postseason fire sale.

In 1998, Lee flashed his first hint of Major League power, clubbing 17 home runs and 74 RBI with a less than stellar .233 average.

After hitting .190 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 46 games, the struggling Lee was optioned to AAA Calgary. As reported in the Palm Beach Post:

``I'm not surprised,'' a shaken Lee said. ``You can't hit .190 and expect something not to happen. It's still disappointing, but I'll be back.''

Lee returned to the club in 2000, and enjoyed his best most productive season to date, hitting .281 with 28 home runs and 70 RBI. He continued to produce in 2001 and 2002, hitting a combined .276 with 48 home runs and 161 RBI.

2003 was his most productive season with the club. He was awarded his first Gold Glove for his work at first base. He also enjoyed career highs with 31 home runs and 92 RBI, stealing 21 bases while hitting .271.

Lee totalled 179 homers and 574 RBI for Florida in 844 games over six seasons.

He was traded to the Chicago Cubs after the Marlins took home their second World Championship in 2003, and later went on to play for the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles. He is currently a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.