The Miami Marlins have played like a legitimate playoff team thus far. With a little more than a month away from the MLB’s All-Star Game in Minnesota, it is highly likely that the Marlins will send more than one representative. The looming question though is this: Who is the surefire representative, and who else may be selected by committee?
Marcell Ozuna wasn’t supposed to be up in the Big Leagues this long. He was supposed to be a fill in in the meantime while Jake Marisnick gets some more prep time in the Minors. As a matter of fact, Marcell Ozuna nearly didn’t make the 25 man roster. He had such a poor Spring Training that the center field spot he currently has was almost given to Marisnick. Ozuna is lucky that the Marlins had established before Spring Training that it was his job to lose, rather than an open competition between him and Marisnick. The Marlins are most likely extremely satisfied to take a chance on Ozuna as he has played extremely well all season.
Ozuna has been an essential part of why the Marlins have been in contention in the NL East. With a batting average of .271, 11 homers, and 39 RBI, let’s take a look at some of the players Ozuna has been on par with. Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has had 12 homers, 38 RBI, along with a batting average of .247. Gonzalez is so far appearing to be the starter at first base for the National League in the Midsummer Classic. Charlie Blackmon, who was just leading the outfield in vote-getting, has had 11 homers with 40 RBI, and averaging .298. Carlos Gomez, one of the selected outfielders by voters so far, has had 12 homers, 35 RBI, and an average of .307. Another leader in votes, and another young slugger, Yasiel Puig, has 11 homers as well, with 40 RBI and an average of .333. The point being made with these stats is that Marcell Ozuna is already a top player offensively, in just his first full season. And that’s just offensively. Ozuna should be considered one of the top defensive talents in the league as well. He has one of the best arms, and it is a straight cannon. Last year, Ozuna once made an assist by throwing from deep center field that took one bounce directly to the catcher’s mitt in the center of his chest to throw out the runner.
What is it that’s made Ozuna so productive though? He has been much more aggressive, and he is turning what would have been doubles last year into home runs this year. Ozuna is without a doubt worthy of an All-Star spot, but only time will tell if he gets it.
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