The Marlins have signed outfielder Dustin Fowler to a minor league contract, according to an announcement from their Triple-A affiliate in Jacksonville. The 26-year-old made his first appearance as a Jumbo Shrimp this evening.
Fowler began his career in the Yankees system, emerging as one of the better outfield prospects in the league within a few years. He reached the big leagues as a 22-year-old midway through the 2017 season. Unfortunately, Fowler ruptured his right patellar tendon in a bizarre collision with an exposed electrical box at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field during his MLB debut. That ended his season, and he was traded to the A’s as part of the return for Sonny Gray not long thereafter.
Oakland gave Fowler a bit of run in 2018, but he hit just .224/.256/.354 over 203 plate appearances. He didn’t appear in the majors in either of the next two seasons, instead spending both years on optional assignment — 2019 in Triple-A, 2020 at the alternate training site. Oakland traded him to the Pirates for cash in February.
Fowler opened the year on Pittsburgh’s big league roster but was designated for assignment after a rough eighteen games. The lefty-hitting outfielder cleared outright waivers and only appeared in thirteen Triple-A games before being released last weekend.
Obviously, Fowler hasn’t yet found any success at the big league level. He’s still relatively young and not too far removed from his days as a high-end prospect, though, and there’s no real harm for the Marlins in bringing him aboard as high minors depth. Fowler is a career .294/.342/.508 hitter over parts of four seasons at Triple-A.