Seven current and former Marlins and Marlins affiliated players celebrate their birthday on January 31st.
Taylor Ard (28)
Taylor B. Ard is a 6’2”, 225 lb. first baseman from Vancouver, Washington. In 2012, he was selected in the seventh round of the draft by the Seattle Mariners, with the 221st overall choice out of Washington State University. In four college seasons, the last two with the Cougars, he slashed .372/.455/.637 with 34 homers in 155 games.
Ard played for the Everett Aqua Sox and the Clinton Lumberkings in the Mariners system before signing on with the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 2014 season. After completing the season with them, he was released in late October. He then spent the 2015 campaign in independent ball, with the River City Rascals in the Frontier League.
Ard signed on with the Marlins to a minor league deal prior to 2016, and watched him respond with a .235/.307/.373 slashline in 130 contests with the Jupiter Hammerheads. 2017 would see him hit .215/.291/.370 in 124 games with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, with whom he is currently still rostered.
Tyler Kinley (27)
Tyler Harrison Kinley is a 6’4”, 205 lb. right-handed pitcher form Plantation, Florida. The Marlins drafted him out of Barry University in the 16th round in 2013, with the 472nd overall choice.
Kinley spent a total of five seasons in Miami’s system, peaking in 2016 with the New Orleans Zephyrs. In total, he aggregated a 9-12 record, a 3.84 ERA, 212 strikeouts in 204 innings, and a 1.29 WHIP. Last month, the Minnesota Twins chose him in the Rule 5 Draft. That means that he has to stay on Minnesota’s major league roster for the duration of the season or be relinquished back to Miami.
Dionicio De La Cruz (24)
Dionicio Antonio De La Cruz was a 6’2” 175 lb. outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He spent three seasons playing for the Marlins DSL Marlins, getting into 140 contests. He slashed .206/.278/.265 with 18 stolen bases.
Josh Johnson (34)
Joshua Michael Johnson was a 6’7”, 220 lb. right-handed pitcher from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Marlins chose him in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, with the 113th pick off the board out of Jenks HS in Jenks, OK.
Johnson worked his way through the system to make his major league debut with the Marlins in 2005. In eight seasons with Florida / Miami, he racked up a 56-37 record with a 3.15 ERA in 144 starts and 10 relief appearances. He struck out 832 in 917 innings, and totaled a 1.23 career WHIP. On December 19th, 2012, the Marlins traded Johnson with John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Boniacio and Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays for Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino and Jake Marisnick.
After a season in Toronto yielded a 2-8 record and a 6.20 ERA, Johnson joined the San Diego Padres through free agency. He got them to pay him for two seasons without recording an out at any level.
Kyle Gunderson (33)
Kyle Leonard Gunderson was a 6’3”, 215 lb. right-handed pitcher from Austin, Texas. In 2007, the Washington Nationals drafted him in the 48th round with the 1,396th choice out of Rice.
Gunderson worked his way up through Washington’s system, peaking with the Potomac Nationals in 2009 in the high-A Carolina League. He then went 1-3 with a 3.12 ERA for the Jupiter Hammerheads to close out that season, striking out 36 in 40 1/3 innings.
In 2010, Gunderson split his time between three levels for the Marlins, stopping with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Jacksonville Suns, and the Hammerheads and totaling a 3-3 record with a 3.09 ERA, a 1.260 WHIP, and 38 whiffs in 43 2⁄3 innings. He played for the Grand Prairie AirHogs and the New Jersey Jackals in independent play in 2011.
Jonathan Prevost (31)
Jonathan Prevost is a 6’2”, 185 lb. outfielder from Montreal, Quebec. The Marlins took him in the 39th round of the 2005 draft with the 1,176th choice out of Edouard Montpetit HS.
Prevost didn’t sign, and ended up at college with the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. In three collegiate seasons, he slashed .327/.447/.594 in 165 games.
Greg Bartlett (35)
Gregory W. Bartlett was a 6’3”, 205 lb. left-handed pitcher from Anaheim, California. He was Florida’s 28th round pick in 2003, 833rd off the board out of Phoenix College. In 15 games for the GCL Marlins, he went 1-1 with a 6.45 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. After the 2003 season, he didn’t again appear in affiliated ball.
Thanks for reading a little about Marlins history today, and if January 31st is your birthday, too, then Happy Birthday to you, too. Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and keep checking back here at Fish Stripes for everything to do with the Miami Marlins.