A top prospect for the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins, Justin Wayne was traded during the 2002 season from the Montreal Expos to Florida as part of the deal for Marlins star Cliff Floyd. Justin, who had been the first-round pick (fifth overall) of the Expos in the 2000 MLB Draft, made his major league debut with the Marlins against the New York Mets on September 2, 2002. After playing only two games for the Marlins in 2003 due to injuries, Wayne is a member of Florida's opening day roster and begins the season pitching out of the bullpen. Through July 28, 2004 the Marlins are 51-50 while Wayne has a record of 3-3 with a 5.79 ERA and appeared in 19 games with one start.
A member of an athletic family, both his brother and father played baseball in college, Wayne was named an All-Hawaii baseball player as a senior in high school (he also ran cross country and played soccer). After choosing Stanford University, Justin quickly became a key member of the team's pitching staff. As a freshman in 1998, the big right-hander went 6-0 with six saves and a 3.81 ERA while working exclusively out of the bullpen. After the season, Wayne was named first team Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, second team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News, and honorable mention All-Pac-10.
In 1999, as a sophomore, Wayne had an even better year with Stanford. With a perfect 10-0 record and a 4.94 ERA as a starter (he started all 21 games in which he appeared), he helped lead the Cardinal to the College World Series, where they finished in third place. The following year, Justin was named All-America as he led Stanford to the College World Series final. He finished the 2000 season with a 15-4 record and a 3.21 ERA. Wayne was named co-Pac 10 Pitcher of the Year.
Following the 2000 season, Justin decided to forego his senior year. He signed with the Montreal Expos, who had made him the fifth overall pick of the 2000 draft. Tied for first in Stanford's history with 363 career strikeouts, Wayne is also in the school's top ten for wins (31), won-loss percentage (.861, a remarkable 31-5), innings pitched (342.1), and strikeouts per nine innings (a rousing 9.54).
Following his major league debut in September 2002, Wayne received a vote of confidence from then-Florida manager Jeff Torborg. The skipper observed that, "There was a lot of emotion, his parents flew in. It's not easy to come here to New York and make your first big-league start...He's a good athlete. You can't really judge anything on the first big-league start." In his second start, Wayne was credited with a win and impressed Torborg, who compared the young hurler to Hall of Famer Don Sutton.
Wayne finished the 2002 season with five starts and a record of 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA -- he registered 16 strikeouts against 13 walks in 23.2 innings. The Marlins finished 79-83, fourth in the NL East.
Expected to play for the Marlins in 2003, Wayne was placed on the 15-day disabled list on March 25 with a leg problem. On April 14, he was activated from the DL and optioned to AAA Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League. Recalled in late April, Wayne has appeared in two games for the Marlins and is 0-2 with an ERA of 11.81. Following his May 3 start, when he walked three batters and allowed two hits and three runs without retiring a batter, Wayne was sent back to Albuquerque, but was recalled on July 23, 2004.
Sources: Jews in Sports