Marcell Ozuna: Buy Or Sell?
Marcell Ozuna should have spent all of 2013 in Double-A. With a wRC+ of 89 at the time this was written, Ozuna performing at 11% below league average sandwiched the outfielder between a quartet of middle infielders including Didi Gregorius, Nick Franklin, Charlie Culberson and Grant Green. Of course a right fielder is supposed to produce at a higher level offensively than middle infielders, so what does this say about Ozuna’s fantasy value going forward?
Is Ozuna more the player who notched a .834 OPS in May or .484 OPS in July? The answer is a bit of both… for now. Expect the hot and cold streaks to continue while he works to adjust to off-speed stuff and hone plate discipline.
The most impressive aspect of Ozuna’s game has been his ability to limit strikeouts after punching out at an alarming rate in 2010. Each year, Ozuna has brought those percentages down and maintained a sub-20% rate at a time when being overwhelmed would be the norm.
Back in 2011, a scouting contact saw both Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna and came away more impressed with Ozuna. This, from a guy who is almost always underwhelmed by talent seen in person. This scenario may not play out in reality, but the upside of a powerhouse like Ozuna is tantalizing.
And with his outfield defense and cannon for an arm, he’ll be able to make a case for consistent playing time even if the bat takes time to blossom.
At 22 and with little experience at the upper levels, Ozuna would be best served splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A before finding a permanent home in Miami. Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez had polish to go along with impressive talent. Ozuna has the talent, but the finishing touches are still a work in progress. Push him too hard again, and the Marlins run the risk of stunting his growth as a hitter — not that they seem to care.
In a league like Ottoneu, Ozuna would be a cut candidate at the $2 bump. In the Ottoneu Experts League, his current owner would have to keep him at $7. Yikes! There’s no rule against cutting and re-auctioning your own players. Ozuna is a prime candidate for this as he can probably be had at auction for $1-$3.
Deeper dynasty leagues require a different strategy though. In those formats, I’d be buying Ozuna low with the hope Giancarlo Stanton is traded by spring of 2014 — very possible, if not likely.
Additionally, I’m banking on his walk rate to trend upward in time. If Ozuna can reel in the aggression and be more selective, the power will begin to play at the Major League level. Through his prime, expect production similar to what Domonic Brown is doing this season. A .275/.325/.500 player would be Stanton’s floor, but a solid corner outfielder nonetheless.
Just throwing this out there, but wouldn’t a starting point of Giancarlo Stanton for Starling Marte and Jameson Taillon be good for both franchises? I know Stanton has had a bit of a down year, but I’m still confident he’ll be a 50-home run threat through his prime. After Marte’s success, it would not surprise me if a couple of replies to this newsletter believed the package I threw out there was too much.
For me, a Marlins outfield of Yelich-Marte-Ozuna with Jake Marisnick as a high upside backup plan would be strong. Slide Taillon into the rotation behind Fernandez in a year or so and the Marlins have something to really work with. Too bad their infield situation is still messy at best.
3 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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