Ozzie Albies is 22 years old, hit 24 home runs for the 2nd year in a row, raised his batting average to .295, led the National League in fielding % as a 2nd baseman at .994, was 3rd in range factor per 9 innings, and is signed through age 30*. Feel better yet?
There were some concerns coming into the season about Ozzie’s second half slide in 2018, and about his performance against right handed pitching (see Ozzie’s 2019 preview.) I was less concerned than some, but Albies exceeded even my expectations, raising his batting average from .261 while maintaining his unexpected 2018 power showing. Both his OBP and slugging % jumped almost 50 points, to .352 and .500 respectively.
Ozzie still shows a large platoon split, batting .267/.334/.444 in 545 plate appearances against right handers, compared to a .389/.414/.685 in 157 plate appearances against left handers, against whom he hit 11 of his 24 homers. If there is a knock on Albies then, it’s that in 75% of his plate appearances he is pretty mortal. But son, that other 25%.
Albies was slightly better in the second half of 2019 than the first, giving optimism that the 2018 swoon was an anomoly. Ozzie played 160 games, led the National League in at-bats, and led the League in hits with 189. He added 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts.
Here are the most similar hitters to Ozzie through age 22, according to Baseball Reference.
Rougned Odor (957.7)
Cal Ripken Jr. (949.4) **
Bobby Doerr (931.8) **
Gregg Jefferies (927.4)
Ryan Zimmerman (922.4)
Carlos Correa (916.5)
Rafael Devers (912.9)
Gleyber Torres (912.6)
Manny Machado (912.0)
Roberto Alomar (908.6) **
** – Signifies Hall of Famer
I’ll have what they’re having.
*Team option for age 29 and 30 seasons.
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