The Braves left field situation is dependent on two players — Eddie Rosario, who I covered yesterday, and Marcell Ozuna, one of the most polarizing players in baseball. The Big Bear has long been an All-Star caliber offensive piece, but the last two seasons have been a nightmare. For the Braves to reach their full potential, they desperately need Ozuna to return to form.
This continues my series where I predict the 2023 stats of each Braves player. If you missed any previous editions, follow the links below.
Predicting Marcell Ozuna’s 2023 Stats
Marcell Ozuna did something last year that I had rarely seen. He smacked 23 homers and finished with an fWAR of -0.6. For a while, Ozuna was on pace to hit 30 homers and finish with a negative WAR. That’s almost unheard of. I’m done ever thinking The Big Bear will be even an average defensive player. At this point in his career, he’s almost strictly a DH, but he’ll have the opportunity to earn a lot of respect back from Braves fans this year.
Given the current roster construction, Ozuna is primed to be the primary designated hitter and could be an everyday player if he can turn things around. He’s by far the best option the Braves have, and I’m projecting he will win the job out of Spring Training and run with it. Some might call that a bold prediction. There’s also a chance he’s released before the season even starts. However, the Braves have hung onto him for this long; if he produces, he will be in the lineup every day.
FanGraphs has Ozuna bouncing back pretty considerably, predicting him to finish the season with a 106 wRC+ (6% above league average). I’m going to take that a step further. I could end up looking like a complete idiot, but I don’t think Ozuna forgot how to hit. He’s mashed baseballs since he came out of the womb, and I predict he will do a complete 180 in 2023. The Braves believe in him, and so do I. Ozuna will be a huge piece of the team this year.
Marcell Ozuna 2023 Stat Predictions: .256/.321/.480, .801 OPS, 31 home runs, 94 RBIs, 1.7 fWAR
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
1 thought on “Predicting the 2023 stats of each Braves player — Marcell Ozuna”
I think that if Marcel Ozuna can keep focused on baseball, your projections may even be conservative. His abbreviated 2020 season where he almost won the Triple Crown is a tantalizing hint as to his potential, even if in a small sample.
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