Marcell Ozuna was signed in January after free agent Josh Donaldson left for the Twins. Here’s what I wrote about the signing at that time.
The signing couldn’t have worked out better for the Braves on the offensive side, as the 29 year old Ozuna led the National League in home runs and RBI’s, and his .338 batting average was good for 3rd in the league. When reviewing players this year we need to keep in mind that we have barely a third of the normal sample size, but no one can dispute Ozuna was amazing offensively during these 60 games. In addition to his domination of the Triple Crown categories, he led the league in total bases, was 2nd in hits, and 3rd in on base percentage and slugging percentage. And if you find tenths of points of bWAR over a 60 game season significant, I’ll add that Marcell was 4th in the NL in Offensive WAR, at 2.5.
The Braves caught another break on the defensive side, when the designated hitter was added to the National League at the last minute. Ozuna showed little range and a weak arm in his limited time in the field, and ended up starting 39 games at DH.
I feel like the promoting of Freddie Freeman for MVP has overshadowed Marcell’s season, but a 1 – 1 – 3 finish in the triple crown categories historically should generate some MVP support as well.
Marcell is back on the free agent market. The arguments for and against signing him to a multi-year contract are similar to last year’s arguments for Donaldson, but Ozuna is 5 years younger. The big question is if the National League will employ the Designated Hitter in 2021 and beyond, which would simultaneously make Ozuna more attractive and more expensive.
You can read Jeremy Timmerman’s post where do the Braves go outfield-wise in 2021 for a fuller analysis of the prospective 2021 outfield.