Marcell Ozuna still isn’t ‘fixed’
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On July 5th, the Miami Marlins decided to demote young outfielder Marcell Ozuna to Triple-A New Orleans due to his struggling performance at the big league level.
Ozuna kicked off his stint with dominance, knocking two homers in his first six games. The Marlins refused to call him up, however, in effort to delay Ozuna’s arbitration clock. So there he stood, a medium-tier MLB outfielder, undoubtably a top-tier Marlin, in the middle of a Triple-A lineup.
Ozuna’s power numbers dropped, and he only finished with five homers in his 33 MiLB games, including just one home run in his last 16 games with the Zephyrs.
Finally, management decided to call up Marcell Ozuna. But after 33 games, the question remains, was it too late?
Obviously, the situation was ideal for the Marlins financially, which fans are used to by now. But if the Fish caught Ozuna during his minor league power surge, Miami could have capitalized on his hitting.
Instead, in leaving him down, the Marlins have seen Ozuna’s performance decrease in efficiency.
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While an improvement in power has occurred, Ozuna’s average stays a struggle. Additionally, his walk rate is down at 1.7% in the second half, as opposed to his 6.5% walk rate in the first half.
Overall, Ozuna’s minor league stint may have improved his power, albeit a small sample size, but his batting average remains a concern. Could his prolonged minor-league presence have hurt his batting average?
Ozuna, who compared playing in New Orleans to jail, seemed to be negatively affected mentally by his duration in the minors, which may have affected his play when coming back to the majors.
Only time will tell if Marcell Ozuna will turn it around and continue to grow, but while many are turning a blind eye in his return, Ozuna continues to struggle, and hasn’t been ‘fixed’ by any means.
Fans may see his return in power department as ‘worth it,’ but his .237 average compares horribly to his marks of .265 in 2013 and .269 in 2014. In order to grow as the player the Marlins want Ozuna to be, his batting average needs to increase.
This was a classic Marlins move, and could turn out a classic Marlins result.
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