2014 Fantasy Baseball: Keep An Eye On Miami Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna
The Miami Marlins are often on the receiving end of negative jokes and sarcasm in MLB circles due to their prowess for puzzling moves up-and-down their organization. After building a new ballpark in Miami and signing some high priced free agents, such as Jose Reyes, and then immediately dismantling the roster they built after just one season, many would say they deserve the criticism. However, the Marlins have done a halfway decent job rebuilding their roster with a young core of players, including the pitching phenom Jose Fernandez, but they also have some exciting position players on the way up, including their current center fielder Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna played in only 70 games for the Marlins in 2013 and batted .265 with threeHRs and 32 RBIs. Of his 73 hits, 17 were doubles and he hit a rather impressive four triples. Perhaps the most glaring weakness he showcased was his inability to draw walks (13 in 291 plate appearances) for an unimpressive .303 on-base percentage. He stole five bases as well.
The 23-year-old outfielder had a rough Spring Training from a batting average prospective (.177 in 62 at bats), but showed power with two HRs and five doubles. However, being that he is on a Marlins club that is unpopular even in their own city of Miami, he has gone almost completely unnoticed. Marlins players have found it hard to garner any attention since the franchises’ inception in 1992.
So far in 2014, Ozuna has provided a bit of a spark to the Marlins’ lineup, batting .467 (seven hits in 15 at-bats) with one HR and two RBIs. He plays a high caliber defensive center field and looks to be an underrated player who could blossom into a very solid major leaguer. While I am by no means saying you must go out and sign Ozuna to your roster in fantasy baseball this minute, I do recommend you keep an eye on how he continues to perform, because he looks to have the capability to be a decent power/speed option in 2014 and is available in around 95 percent of most leagues as we speak, which could bring you some value on the waiver-wire.