The Braves were the most decorated team in baseball last year.
The club sent eight players to the All-Star game, five earned All-MLB honors, three Silver Sluggers, the first-ever team Silver Slugger award, and the NL MVP. Somehow they were still snubbed.
Bryce Harper earned Silver Slugger honors for the DH position when he in fact didn’t have a better year at the plate than Marcell Ozuna. The Big Bear hit 40 home runs and 100 RBIs with a .274 average and .558 slugging percentage, good for a .905 OPS.
For comparison, Harper had a .293 average with a .499 slugging percentage, good for a .900 OPS. He did play in fewer games than Ozuna (about 20), but Harper still only hit 21 home runs.
It’s hard for a Braves fan to capture the sympathy of the average baseball fan because the club won 100+ games and became the first offense in history to slug over .500, but Ozuna was absolutely snubbed.
I guess as a consolation prize, Ozuna can rest easy knowing he was among MLB.com’s best players who didn’t win an award.
Designated hitter: Marcell Ozuna, Braves
It’s kind of wild that Ozuna slashed .274/.346/.558 with 40 homers, 29 doubles and 100 RBIs and was nowhere near the best — or even the second-best — hitter on his team. But such was life for the 1927 Yankees … err, 2023 Braves. Ozuna struggled mightily in the opening month (.397 OPS through the end of April) but crushed the ball the rest of the way (.969) to re-establish himself as a major power threat.
Ozuna’s 2023 arc was quite amazing. As the piece states, he owned a .397 OPS through April and somehow ended up with an OPS north of .900. Many were ready to give up on the Big Bear, but the Braves begrudgingly stuck with him, not without trying to get rid of him in a Patrick Corbin swap, and were rewarded with what should’ve been a Silver Slugger season from Ozuna.
John Adams/Icon Sportswire