2016 Stats: .266, 23 HR, 76 RBI, .321 OBP, .772 OPS, 2.5 WAR
Marcell Ozuna enjoyed a bounce back season for the Marlins in 2016, becoming an all-star for the first time in his career while finishing near the top in almost all Marlins offensive categories. Ozuna drastically improved from his disastrous season in 2015, doubling his home run total and improving in the runs, RBI and OPS categories. Ozuna's offensive outbreak was much needed for the Marlins, a team that saw two of their best sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour hit the DL for a large portion of the season, and lost former batting champion and leadoff hitter Dee Gordon for 80 games due to a PED suspension.
Marcell Ozuna's rediscovered success could largely be attributed to his newfound plate discipline. Ozuna saw his OPS climb from .691 in 2015 to .773 in 2016, a direct result of his much improved BB/K ratio, which rose from .27% the season prior to .37% in 2016. Ozuna did a much better job of not chasing the off-speed pitch, something he has struggled mightily with in the past. His O-Swing%, or percentage of balls swung at outside the strike zone, dropped from 35.4% in 2015 to 32.3% in 2016.
Due to the aforementioned injuries and suspension, Marlins manager Don Mattingly was forced to be creative with the teams lineup. Ozuna's versatility led to him being used in the 2-6 spots in the lineup throughout the season. Though not a huge sample size, Ozuna was most effective in the six-hole behind Stanton and Bour. When batting sixth in 2016, Ozuna hit .373 with 4 homeruns in 70 plate appearances. On the flip side of things, when Ozuna hit second in the order, he really struggled, hitting just .217 with one home run and 8 RBI in 93 plate appearances.
Marcell Ozuna has been the focus of many trade rumors due to the Marlins need for starting pitching but should he return to Miami, Ozuna will likely play left field, with gold glove finalist Christian Yelich sliding over to center field. While Ozuna graded as slightly below average defensively this passed season in center field, he has been considered a plus defender in previous years and should benefit from a move to a corner outfield position. The future still seems bright for the 26 year old slugger out of the Dominican Republic, and perhaps the biggest question surrounding Marcell Ozuna's future remains whether or not he'll be wearing a Marlins jersey in the years to come.