Best Marlins Player Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2001 - Ryan Dempster
Apologies to Cliff and P-Rock, both of whom might go 30-30 this year if they stay healthy, but Demp gets the nod. In a starting rotation full of question marks -- as in, "Can Matt Clement find the strike zone?" "Can Brad Penny build on last year's strong finish?" "Can A.J. Burnett and Chuck Smith come back from early injuries?" -- Ryan Dempster provides the one exclamation point -- as in, "Damn! That slider just fell off the friggin' table!" Now if he could just pitch a few innings in relief, the Marlins staff would have no problem. At 23 years old, he's a bit young for the burden of being the ace, but if anyone can handle the pressure, it's this hard-throwin', easy-goin', joke-tellin' Canuck.