The Miami Marlins find themselves the midst of a season full of tribulations, one in which they’ve seen the slow, yet entirely temporary, degradation of one superstar and the emergence of other players vying to become that. Coupled with the unremitting early season production of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna has carried the Marlins offensively, despite defensive lapses on occasion. Formerly touted as a complementary piece to an outfield in the discussion for the best in baseball, Marcell Ozuna is changing the connotation of his name and teeters on the precipice of becoming a star. Marcell Ozuna’s all-star game ballot holds great intrigue.
Making A Case For Marcell Ozuna’s All-Star Game Ballot
With Giancarlo Stanton‘s batting average dropping below .200 for the first time extended period of time in his career, Marcell Ozuna has taken it upon himself to provide an ostentatious offensive spark to drive his ball club. Ozuna’s rise to the cleanup spot seems like a far cry from his status within the organization prior to the season, when his name floated around in trade discussions. Prior to this season, his career-high batting average sat at a tick under .270; he has since brought it up to .319, just sixty-eight games into this season.
Ozuna’s .319 average is good enough for fifth in the National League, yet still ranks second on the Fish behind that of Martin Prado. He leads the Marlins in RBI with forty-one, tied with Ben Zobrist for sixteenth in the National League. His .917 OPS puts him ahead of Yoenis Cespedes by .001 points, and he sits at eighth in the NL in that category. The Dominican Republic native holds second place among National League outfielders in hits; he trails only Starling Marte of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who leads NL outfielders with eighty-two. Ozuna has recorded the fifth-most hits overall in the NL.
Impressively, Ozuna also owns four triples, two behind the NL lead. One would surmise the spacious confines of Marlins Park provided the potential all-star with the quartet of triples. However, only one has come at home. Ozuna has only three more home runs than triples in opposing ballparks.
The Bottom Line
Ozuna’s remarkably consistency this season, not only at the plate but at remaining in the lineup, deserves notice as well. The center fielder spent an elongated stint in the minors, specifically at Triple-A, last season. He missed out on thirty-nine of the big league club’s games. However, this season, Ozuna has consistently stayed on the major league field. He’s played in all but three of the Fish’s games in 2016, and the three he missed were all scheduled off days.
With the phenomenal showing of players such as Christian Yelich, Martin Prado, J.T. Realmuto, and Jose Fernandez, among others, and the anathema that’s been Giancarlo Stanton’s season, Ozuna has been overshadowed, despite steadily creeping into the mainstream. Ozuna, perhaps more so than any other member of the organization, battled through a disenchanting 2015 to reach a place where deserves at least some consideration for his first All-Star nod.