Today we debut a fun, thought provoking feature where we rank the best Miami athletes of the major team sports in South Florida according to value. Comparing same-sport players is difficult, making this appear lunatic.
Sports is fun. Power rankings are cool. So, why not? (Note: This will likely be a monthly feature.)
1. LeBron James, Heat – The best athlete in the world, coming off his second consecutive NBA Championship. As long as he’s in Miami, LeBron will never be pried from the top spot.
2. Cameron Wake, Dolphins – Definitively the top player on the Dolphins roster and one of the best pass rushers in the league today. The quickest defender off the snap in football, Wake has cheetah blood.
3. Dwyane Wade, Heat – No secret Wade was hurting in this year’s playoffs. Still, he showed up when his team needed him most. A Kobe-like “vacation” in Germany couldn’t hurt.
4. Jose Fernandez, Marlins – A flame-throwing stud who turns 21 at the end of the month, his story is as scintillating as his game.
5. Mike Wallace, Dolphins – The fastest man in Miami sports looks to douse a boring franchise with some flash. Let’s hope the cash doesn’t get to his head.
6. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins – Amid another injury riddled campaign for the most intimidating specimen in South Florida, Stanton has had trouble with consistency in the 50-plus games he has played. While his clothes disappeared in ESPN The Magazine Body Issue, the question remains how much longer he will appear in a Marlins uniform.
7. Stephen Morris, Hurricanes - Throwing 139 passes without an interception and counting, the senior quarterback has a shot at a special year. If he can recapture the magic of the last four games of 2012 — passing for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions while leading Miami’s offense to 41 points a game — we could be talking Heisman contender.
8. Duke Johnson, Hurricanes - The most exciting Miami athlete not named LeBron. To call him a freak would be unjust. Duke is already one of the most dangerous Canes runner of all time.
9. Chris Bosh, Heat – His scoreless Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals may leave a bitter taste, but he did contribute in other ways. Bosh should carry a greater offensive burden moving forward, as the goal will be to keep Wade fresh for the playoffs.
10. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – The pieces are finally filing in around this young, promising quarterback. Year two will be revealing with excuses evaporating.
11. Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers – Give the Cats some love, any love. Huberdeau had a fine rookie season, finishing with 31 points in 48 games.
Next three: Randy Starks, Mike Pouncey, Denzel Perryman