Marcell Ozuna has signed with the Atlanta Braves for one year at $18 million. The left fielder played his last two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Although they weren’t his best years in the majors, Ozuna has been solid and a 2-3 rWAR player. Let’s take a look at what he brings to the Braves’ outfield.
Marcell Ozuna is still just 29 years old, but after a career year in 2017 with the Miami Marlins, he took a slight step back with St. Louis. He is still an above-average hitter with an OPS+ of 107 and 106 in 2019 and 2018 respectively. His .243 average last year looks bad but it came with an unlucky .259 BABIP even though Ozuna had a career-high 48.1 HH%. His career BABIP is .315.
His K% stayed fairly even at 20.8% (21.1% career) and his BB% was a career-high at 11.3%. It looks as though his plate discipline is improving and his HH% has improved each year over the last five seasons. As far as his defense goes, he has taken a step back. He is still an above-average left fielder with +2 DRS last season. That number has come down from +8 in 2018 and +11 in 2017.
The Braves are getting a player who is still in his prime and has the ability to put up another 6 rWAR season (6.1 in 2017). He is still a good fielder with a decent arm and good range. The improved plate discipline and regression to the norm in his BABIP should have Ozuna back to a middle-of-the-order bat for Atlanta. This is a good signing and will be easily worth the $18 million.
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