Sunday, February 8, 2015


Sometimes a young player will sneak up on the fantasy baseball community and almost overnight turn into a very impactful asset in one form or another.  This is usually a tough thing to do as anyone who takes part in fantasy baseball often are very in tune to the major and even mid-level hitting and pitching prospects that are on the cusp of being major league regulars.  That was not really the case for Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna who was never on anyone's top prospect list or must have sleeper.  Be that as it may however, he was with the right team as the Marlins historically have thrown their prospects right into action with often not a lot of minor league seasoning.  That was the case for Ozuna in 2014 after a 70-game run the season prior that was very undistinguished.  With the Marlins needing bats as they went through yet another rebuild, Ozuna was going to receiver another chance to show what he could do.  Show what he could do Ozuna did as he proceeded to show off a better than advertised power stick that highlighted the following stats:

23 HR
85 RBI
72 R
3 SB

The home runs are the are where Ozuna makes his most impact and in an era where power is increasingly rare, that makes him even more valuable than he would be even ten years ago.  The fact that Ozuna will only be 24 for the 2015 season means that there is likely more where that came from as well as he is a few years away form his power peak.  Yes the home ballpark is a challenge but Ozuna should move past the 25 home run mark in 2015 and even threaten 30 if all breaks right as he continues to learn the strike zone.  Since Ozuna will be relied on as a middle of the order power bat, 90 RBI is also the expected haul for 2015. 

In looking at the rest of the package, Ozuna will improve on last season's 72 runs, with 80-plus being the benchmark for him in 2015.  Not much of a speed guy by any means, stealing 5 bags will be considered a lot for Ozuna.  That is not his game and that won't change so don't buy him for that aspect.  Finally, Ozuna has some holes in his swing that need to be shored up as evidenced by him striking out a very high 164 times in last season's 565 at-bats.  Showing the classic pure slugging form that induces strikeouts like most other young players of similar ability, Ozuna will only be able to top out as a .275 hitter unless he makes inroads there. 

When you put things all together, Marcell Ozuna looks poised to graduate into an outfielder 2 for 2015 fantasy baseball.  His power swing is very potent and further expected development will lead to better overall stats this season.  This is a kid on the clear upswing path of his development who still carries a cheap enough draft price due to his home ballpark and continued lack of familiarity to be well worth reaching a round earlier for.

2015 PROJECTION:  .272 26 HR 91 RBI 82 R 4 SB


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