You remember when I talked about the legend that is Brian Giles in my Harold Baines HOF article. Well, if you don’t know Brian, then you definitely don’t know his brother, Marcus Giles.
Marcus played in the MLB for seven years, six for the Braves and one for the Padres, retiring at the age of 29.
He had a decent career: 813 career hits, 76 home runs, .277/.353/.429 batting splits, 187 doubles and a career 103 OPS+. It’s nowhere near a Cooperstown-worthy career, but it’s respectable.
He also had a 16.8 career WAR, quite a lot for a player of Giles’ caliber, until you realize that number is inflated because in 2003, his WAR was just over 47 percent of his career WAR.
In 2003, Marcus Giles had a 7.9 WAR, third in the NL, including a 5.9 offensive WAR, sixth among NL players, and a defensive WAR of 2.3, third among NL players. Giles finished 18th in the NL MVP voting, received his only All Star selection and had a career year that he couldn’t quite match again.
The Braves won their ninth of 11 straight NL East titles, losing in the NLDS to the Cubs, and we all know what happened in the NLCS.
His OPS+ in 2003 was 136…the next closest year for him was 2005, where he had a 114 OPS+. His OPS was .917 in 2003, 91 points higher than his next-closest season. He had career highs in hits, home runs, RBI, doubles, average, OBP and total bases, along with OPS+ and OPS.
Giles hit .316 with 21 home runs, 69 (nice) RBIs , 49 doubles (second in the NL), 174 hits and 101 runs scored.
In 2003, Marcus Giles had a better WAR than Todd Helton, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Luis Gonzalez, John Smoltz, Billy Wagner, teammate Andruw Jones, Mike Mussina, Carlos Delgado, Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, Alfonso Soriano, etc.
Marcus Giles was tied for the sixth-best WAR in the MLB in 2003…and he ended up being nothing but a speck on the overall MLB radar.
This is yet another example of how weird baseball is, and I’ll continue to showcase some of the most randomly good seasons in MLB history because when you get bored in the offseason, this is what you do to pass the time.