Miami Marlins: Reasons for Optimism in 2016
First, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich will more likely than not start 2016 as the Marlins starting outfield. The Marlins front office may still well trade Ozuna but at the moment I’m operating on the assumption that he will be the Marlins center fielder next April.
At this point we know what Yelich and Stanton will give us. Yelich is one of the best young hitters in baseball with great plate discipline and pitch recognition and very good defense in left field although he is a little more limited when playing in center. Stanton is the best slugger in baseball right now racking up 181 homers in only 708 games played and is projected according to Steamer to slash .265/.346/.606 with 44 HR.
The question as always is can Stanton actually play enough to make the monster season we have been waiting for a reality. If Stanton actually plays in 145+ games in 2016 it is very reasonable to think that he could hit 45+ homers given that the Marlins are bringing the fences in at Marlins Park.
Ozuna is actually the most intriguing player in the Marlins outfield because of the very uncommon set of skills he brings to the table So far in his career keeping in mind of how raw he was coming in to his rookie year in 2013, Ozuna had only played 403 minor league games and only 10 at AA.
Ozuna showed us flashes of what he could do in 2014 putting a 115 wRC+ and hitting 23 HR while putting up 10 DRS playing center field. That is uncommon enough that it should be noticed.
Although he struggled in 2015 and got sent down to the New Orleans under suspicious circumstances he proved that despite the small sample size he could be the hitter showed in 2014 putting up a 115 wRC+ and 33 XBH after being recalled to the Major Leagues in August.
2015 was a perfect storm of disappointment when it came to the Marlins outfield trio and it would be shocking if they couldn’t redeem themselves and be key to this team making a run at .500