2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Ozzie Albies

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.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

33 thoughts on “2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Ozzie Albies”

  1. Ozzie is, by far, my favorite player in baseball right now and is competing for my overall heart with Dale Murphy. I love his presence on this team and the passion he has for baseball, but mostly, I love his calming presence and what that could mean for his partner in crime, Acuna.

    Notably, Ozzie had a great defensive year by all metrics, and was successful in SB attempts 79% of the time.

    If Ozzie can continue to grow as a LHH and increase his patience at the plate, he could be a borderline HOF. In 2.5 years, he’s already produced 10.3. fWAR, and if he could replicate that production for the next 10 years, he’d be over 50 fWAR at age 32.

  2. 1: Ozzie is my favorite current Brave also, joining Andruw and Andrelton as my all time favorite Atlanta Braves. That island has been good to us.

    For now, go Nats; Go ‘Stros!

  3. I’m very proud of myself for being in the vanguard of alleging conspiracy theories against MLB for changing the postseason baseball so there would be fewer homers.

    Watching Ozzie is absolute joy. I still think that the Braves ought to have given him tens of millions of dollars more, but I’m giddy to think I get to watch him and Ronald for the next decade. What could be more fun than that?

  4. Oh no, Ryan, that’s terrible. You cannot make such a bet unless you’re sure you’re winning.
    What was the bet?

    Agreed on Ozzie. One of my absolute favorites!

  5. I’ve not watched an inning of the NLCS. I can’t. It just hurts. That should be us. And seeing how big of an egg St. Louis is laying, that’s killing me more. Should be us. We. Freaking. Blew it.

  6. Ozzie is 4th in fWAR amongst second baseman, with Max “I’m Not A Second Baseman” Muncy ahead of him along with Ketel “Career Year” Marte leading the pack.

    He’s really an incredible player, and considering he came up right around the same time as Acuna, signed his much smaller long-term deal around the same time as Acuna, and is such good friends with Acuna, I fear he will always be seen in a dimmer light than he otherwise ought to be. There are just so many young players to celebrate, especially Acuna, that he doesn’t seem to get the credit that he deserves. He didn’t even make the All-Star team this year, not that that’s a huge deal, but it does show that he isn’t fully recognized as a transcendent player.

  7. @7 They. Really. Did. Blow it.

    I can barely bring myself to check in on the blog let alone post. They’re going to have to show me the needle moving before I’ll get excited about them again. Winning the division is nothing. NLCS or don’t bother.

  8. I think if Atlanta improves the roster off of the 2019 team, then it starts looking like World Series or bust.

    It would have been nice for Atlanta to have had this linear progression of losing the NLDS in 2018, losing the NLCS in 2019, and then 2020 looks like this “maybe we can win it all” year. And obviously getting bounced from the NLDS in 2019 cuts the linear progression outlook. But that’s not really how the playoffs work.

    Look at Washington:

    2012: Lost NLDS
    2013: No playoffs
    2014: Lost NLDS
    2015: No playoffs
    2016: Lost NLDS
    2017: Lost NLDS
    2018: No playoffs
    2019: Probably headed to the World Series

    So after not making the playoffs 3 times and losing the NLDS 4 times, they blow right past all of that and get to the World Series. I’m not saying I want Atlanta to follow that path, especially at that length, but it busts the narrative that Atlanta’s 2020 is somehow impacted by what happened in 2019. In my mind, we were a NLCS+ team that had a really bad series. There will be a natural progression of talent, and Atlanta might yet be able to take the money they gave to Keuchel, Teheran, Gausman, O’Day, Ender, and Nick and consolidate that into an elite SP, a real RF, and Melancon (gotta account for him this case).

    Plus, this has GOT to be the year where we make the big deal, right? How many guys are you going to hold onto too long? Already got here with Allard, Gohara, maybe even Wentz, and we could potentially be here with Wilson and Touki. How many guys are we going to run up through the system, even into the big leagues, lose a ton of value, and then trade for a reliever?

  9. I think it’s not really Washington’s fault that they’re finally heading to the World Series. I think MLB just kind of sucks now, and has sucked for as long as it’s had these wild card teams and five-game series.

    There’s a lot more to dislike about MLB as well, but I think this might have been my last bad swig of it for a while.

    They should really think about the way this thing plays.

  10. Unfortunately, I think that it may be time to retire Phil Collins. We may need to take some suggestions.

    How about a Road from Bristol bracket for our new slumpbreaking music? Here are some thoughts:

    Bryan Adams
    Alanis Morissette
    Atlanta Rhythm Section
    Gordon Lightfoot
    The Spice Girls
    Bread

  11. People keep griping about Ozzie’s numbers as a LH hitter, but I saw him put some wood on balls lefty that sure makes me think he’s on his way to being elite left-handed. Ozzie is everything great and wonderful about baseball. He has got some Altuve-type numbers in his future. He is fast, strong, agile, smart, joyful, and competitive. Ozzie is the long term heart and soul of this team.

  12. The Cardinals are trying to stave off elimination and they’re handing the ball to a grown man named “Dakota.”

  13. I feel the same way about losing to the Cardinals as I do about UGA losing to Muschamp. How in the frick did this happen?

  14. The Cardinals were never that good. If Chris Martin hadn’t screwed his oblique, they’d have been swept by Atlanta.

    They won Game 4 on a couple bloops and a sac fly.

    They lucked into the NLCS and it has shown.

    I wish it weren’t the Nats, but it’s delicious.

  15. I’m not going to blame it on an injury to a mostly invisible reliever. We played horrible. Like one of our worst efforts of the season. Same with UGA. It may not be possible for them to play worse than they just did. It took a monumental level of futility and ineptness to lose. Like the absolute tail of the bell curve. So frustrating.

  16. I find it hilarious the Cardinals gave up seven runs in the first inning of their elimination game. What goes around comes around.

  17. Cardinals swept. Good riddance to them, that complaining reliever, their manager and the Best Fans in Baseball™.

  18. Hahahahaha: and Molina got plunked! Life is sweet. Now let’s resign IF and get us a stud to complement Soroka.

  19. It sucks being a fan of this franchise sometimes. We handled these guys all season. Futility in the playoffs for 20 years and no end in sight. I think this is going to unleash some fire in DC and it will be a much tougher division to win again.

  20. Strasburg as he has now become bears no comparison to his early snotty years. The poise and focus he shows on the mound is eerie it’s so total. He’s the biggest single reason they are in the World Series.

  21. @28 We shouldn’t fret like this. This is not a future rise by the Nats; it’s a last gasp. If they lose Rendon and/or Strasburg over the winter, they will be nothing like this year’s team. If they keep both then the team will be too costly to be competitive. Zimmerman, Kendrick, A. Sanchez, Gomes, Zuk will all be riding off into the sunset. The Nats will still be good but they will not match this year’s performance.

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