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Best Marlins Player Miami 2013 - Steve Cishek

Readers' Choice: Giancarlo Stanton

Let's face it. This year's Miami Marlins have about as many high points as the pancake-flat state of Florida. But the silver lining of the Marlins selling all their best players during the offseason is that they also got to replace the hot-garbage train wreck known as Heath Bell at closer. With Bell shipped off to Arizona, the closer's role opened up for 26-year-old Steve Cishek, who came in with guns blazing. Drafted by the Marlins in 2007, Cishek was a skinny kid whose fastball topped off at just 82 mph. But thanks to a growth spurt and some seasoning through college, Cishek — who uses a baffling, near-submarine delivery — now breaks the radar gun at 95 mph with a nasty fastball that gives opposing hitters the hives. Stepping in as the closer late in 2012, Ci­shek proved that Marlins fans need not worry about at least one position. The six-foot-six, gangly flame-thrower converted 13 of 14 save opportunities over the season's final three months for Miami, allowing opposing batters to hit a paltry .183 average with runners in scoring position during that time. Cishek was also the one lone bright spot for the monumentally disappointing Team USA during this year's World Baseball Classic. So playing with a losing team and having success should be nothing new to him. The Marlins have plenty of problems going forward, but the closer ain't one. That is, of course, until they decide to trade Cishek for another crop of no-names.

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