Marcell Ozuna
Marcell Ozuna
28-Year-Old OutfielderOF
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Compared to former outfield mates Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, Ozuna didn't make as much of a splash in his first year outside Miami. Ozuna eventually found his swing after a slow start to his Cardinals career, slashing .299/.346/.482 with 20 home runs from May 21 onward. It still marked a step back from the .924 OPS and 37 long balls he supplied in 2017, though regression was always coming after he needed a 23.4% HR/FB -- nearly nine points above his career rate -- to achieve that production. Moreover, Ozuna battled a sore right shoulder for a good portion of the second half that later required offseason arthroscopic surgery, further explaining the power downturn on some level. There's always a risk that such a procedure continues to sap his slugging output, but the improved contact skills Ozuna has displayed the last few years coupled with his guaranteed spot in the heart of the order give him a fairly dependable four-category floor. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $12.25 million contract with the Cardinals in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Smacks second spring homer
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 23, 2019
Ozuna went 1-for-2 with a solo home run, a sacrifice fly, a walk and two runs in a 15-5 Grapefruit League win over the Mets on Friday.
Ozuna's second homer of spring opened the scoring in the eighth for the Cardinals in the rout. The veteran outfielder is reportedly as healthy as he's been years following shoulder surgery this offseason, and he's been working on getting his timing down at the plate after a late start to spring.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .874 421 59 22 59 0 .303 .359 .516
Since 2016vs Right .806 1493 178 61 229 4 .282 .337 .469
2018vs Left .895 149 20 9 26 0 .314 .362 .533
2018vs Right .716 478 49 14 62 3 .270 .314 .402
2017vs Left .804 144 19 3 15 0 .305 .382 .422
2017vs Right .955 535 74 34 109 1 .313 .374 .581
2016vs Left .923 128 20 10 18 0 .289 .328 .595
2016vs Right .732 480 55 13 58 0 .259 .319 .413
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .875 910 118 47 149 1 .302 .357 .518
Since 2016Away .772 1004 119 36 139 3 .272 .328 .445
2018Home .803 298 35 13 51 1 .299 .342 .460
2018Away .718 329 34 10 37 2 .263 .310 .408
2017Home 1.023 320 46 22 61 0 .344 .413 .611
2017Away .837 359 47 15 63 1 .284 .343 .494
2016Home .791 292 37 12 37 0 .262 .312 .479
2016Away .757 316 38 11 39 0 .269 .329 .428
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Stat Review
How does Marcell Ozuna compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Ozuna had shown flashes of greatness in the past, but few could have predicted his monster 2017. As a 25-year-old, Ozuna exceeded his home-run total from the previous two seasons combined while adding nearly 50 points to his batting average. He finished with a 142 wRC+ (15th among qualified hitters) and .388 wOBA, and the numbers from Statcast were generally encouraging; Ozuna had a .357 xwOBA and 90.7 mph average exit velocity, which ranked 15th among 237 players with at least 250 at-bats. He added to his walk rate, boosting it to a career-high 9.4 percent, but his BABIP was slightly inflated at .355 and it's possible Ozuna's average will settle closer to the .270s in the years to come. A .270 batter with 30-plus homers and 100 RBI isn't as rare as it used to be, but it's still plenty valuable. With Ozuna leaving Miami for St. Louis in a December trade, we feel even better about his chances for another $20-plus season.
Ozuna rebounded from a disappointing 2015 campaign to essentially match his breakout 2014 season, showing latent skills growth in the process. The 26-year-old's future is back on the upswing. He walked more and whiffed significantly less than in the previous season. It's the improved contact rate that's most intriguing. The only negative last season was a 20-point drop in BABIP for the second straight year. Assuming a great deal of that is variance, if Ozuna maintains most or all his contact gains, what looks to be a stable average in the .265 range could head north quickly with a BABIP reversion. While the power drop in 2015 can't be ignored, it can be discounted meaning there could be a buying opportunity if the market doesn't similarly adjust. Plus, Ozuna is lofting a few more flyballs away from challenging the 30-homer mark, and he's at an age where this often occurs. Don't hesitate to cast a line toward him.
The power Ozuna showed in 2014 dissipated in 2015, as he hit just 10 home runs in 494 plate appearances and saw his slugging percentage dip below .400 for the second time in three years. Ozuna’s performance was so poor that the Marlins stashed him in the minors for 33 games, likely in an extremely Marlins attempt to game his service time clock. Giving up on Ozuna at this point would be a grave overreaction, however; he was a 24-year-old playing in one of the most difficult parks for power hitters in the game’s recent history. Slumps will happen. Counting the minor leagues, Ozuna has four 20-homer seasons in the past six years, and he’s far too young to give up on. His strikeout rates are concerning — he has yet to post one below 19.6 percent — but if the power he showed in 2014 and in the minors resurfaces, everybody will forget all about that right quick.
A surprise offensive breakout player during his 2013 rookie campaign, Ozuna managed to sneak up on us once again in 2014 as he made significant strides in most every aspect of his game. The 24-year-old outfielder re-discovered the power stroke he displayed throughout the minors and socked 23 home runs to go along with 26 doubles and five triples while tallying 83 RBI over 153 games during his first full season in the majors. Ozuna continued to swing and miss with regularity (26.8 K%), but also showed a slight increase in walk rate (6.7% in 2014 compared to 4.5% as a rookie). He continues to provide steady defense in the outfield and has settled in as the full-time center fielder after the team tried to mix and match defensive alignments early on. Ozuna should be fully recover from the ankle injury that cost him the last two weeks in September by the time camp rolls around, and he'll enter the season with ample RBI opportunities while batting in the middle of the Marlins’ order.
Ozuna turned heads when he got the nod over some of the Marlins' more accomplished outfield prospects in late May and perhaps his presence on the 40-man roster played a role. Ozuna did, however, make the most of his opportunity, putting together a BABIP-fueled tear where he batted .336 over his first 33 games with the Marlins. More of a power prospect than a contact hitter -- Ozuna popped one home run every 20.9 at-bats in minors with a strikeout rate hovering around 20% -- it was no surprise to see his line dip to .265/.303/.389 before he was finally shut down with a thumb injury that required surgery in late July. Despite struggling during the end of his run in Miami, Ozuna gained some valuable experience as an everyday player, contributing solid defense in the outfield and showing the ability to handle right-handed pitching at the major league level. He is not quite of the Christian Yelich/Jake Marisnick ilk, but with a reduced strikeout rate, improved patience at the plate and some more authoritative contact, Ozuna could threaten 20 home runs annually as he hits his prime. Heading into the spring, Ozuna looks to be the favorite to earn the starting job in center field with Miami as he enters his sophomore season.
Ozuna spent his 2012 season at High-A Jupiter and followed up his fine season the previous year with more of the same. He continues to flash plus power, slugging 24 home runs over 489 at-bats last season while posting a strong .804 OPS. Ozuna has mashed 69 home runs over three minor league seasons and appears ready to take a jump to the next level in 2013. Though his 116 strikeouts in 129 games last season lend doubt to the notion that he will ever provide positive value in terms of batting average, his power is absolutely for real. Keeper league owners should invest now, as he'll likely spend his 2013 season at Double-A Jacksonville.
Ozuna is no Mike Stanton, but the 21-year-old has plus-power and began to develop other aspects of his game in 2011, upping his walk rate, cutting back on the strikeouts and stealing an impressive 17 bases in 19 attempts at Low-A. The plate discipline is still a work in progress, and Jupiter can be a tough place to hit so don't be shocked if his numbers at High-A take a bit of a tumble, but he's a legitimate prospect who would be among the best in the Marlins system even if it weren't depleted.
More Fantasy News
Gets through first game in outfield
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 12, 2019
Ozuna, who started in left field for the first time this spring in a 3-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Nationals on Monday, reported no pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder following the game, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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Debuting in left field
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 11, 2019
Ozuna (shoulder) is making his first spring start in the outfield Monday against the Nationals.
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Another positive step with shoulder
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 9, 2019
Ozuna took normal fielding practice and threw to bases prior to Saturday's Grapefruit League contest against the Astros, Glenn Sattell of reports.
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Could return to field work Monday
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
March 8, 2019
Ozuna could play left field during Monday's spring game against the Nationals, Rob Rains of reports.
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May not play field until mid-March
OFSt. Louis Cardinals
February 26, 2019
Interim manager Mike Shildt suggested Monday that Ozuna may not play the outfield in Grapefruit League games until around mid-March, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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