Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes will be going back over the Top 100 Marlins of all time, from their inception as the Florida Marlins in 1993 through today's incarnation as the Miami Marlins. I used the WAR metric to order all potential members of the list. Today's Marlin, Marcell Idelfonso Ozuna, has earned a mark of 8.0 while with the team. Dated hot links within this article feed directly to MLB.COM’s full-game broadcast of that day.
Ozuna was born on November 12th, 1990 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and signed as an amateur free agent with the Marlins on February 15th, 2008. A six-year slog through the minors culminated in 2013, when he was named the #75 prospect in minor league ball. He made his major league debut with Miami on April 30th, going one-for-three in a 2-1 Marlins win over the New York Mets. In his sixth career game, on May 5th, he went four-for-five with two doubles, three runs, three RBI and a walk, helping Miami dismantle the Philadelphia Phillies, 14-2. From May 15th through May 31st, Ozuna had a 16-game hitting streak, going 21-for-59 with five extra base hits and six RBI (although the Marlins went 3-13 over the span).
Ozuna appeared in 70 games for the Marlins that season through late-July, starting in every game but one in either right or center field. On June 2nd, Ozuna hit a single, a double, and a triple, totaling four RBI as the Marlins topped the Mets, 11-6. He collected a pinch hit in his lone non-starting appearance, on June 20th, hitting a two-run single which was the eventual game-winner against the San Francisco Giants, 2-1. He totaled 20 multi-hit games through his short season, which ended prematurely on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his left thumb. He ended up with a .265/.303/.389/.693 slashline, with three home runs, 32 RBI, and only 13 walks versus 57 whiffs. Despite playing in under half of the season, he led the NL with four outfield double-plays.
Ozuna started the 2014 campaign as Miami’s opening day center fielder, and responded by playing in a team-second best 153 games. He hit .269/.317/.455/.772, with 26 doubles, 23 home runs, 85 RBI, and 41 walks. He also struck out 164 times, ranking seventh in the NL (Giancarlo Stanton had 170). He started 146 games, mostly in center but also 10 times in left, and totaled 38 multi-hit games.
On April 19th, Ozuna drew a walk, hit a three-run homer, and added an RBI single off Fernando Rodney in a 7-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners. On May 21st, he hit an RBi-single, drew a walk, and hit a grand slam as the Marlins defeated the Phillies by a 14-5 final score. On June 5th, he hit two singles and a home run, totaling four RBI in an 11-6 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Nine days later, he hit a triple and a homer for three RBI in total, although the Marlins dropped an 8-6 decision to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On July 8th, Ozuna hit a clutch two-run homer in the ninth inning to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1. He earned five RBI on August 22nd, with two singles, a home run, and a sacrifice fly to help the Marlins defeat the Colorado Rockies, 13-5. September 5th would see him hit two singles and two doubles for four RBI as the Marlins topped the Atlanta Braves, 11-3. Ozuna finished the season with what is still his career high, a 4.5 WAR.
In 2015, Ozuna collected 36 multi-hit games over his 119 starts, chiefly in center field. On May 1st, he hit a single and three doubles with an RBI as the Marlins defeated the Phillies, 4-3. On May 24th, he hit three singles, including a two-out bases loaded two-RBI base hit in the fourth inning of a 5-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles. He hit a single and a double for three RBI in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Cubs on June 2nd.
After hitting .280/.333/.379/.713 over the first 72 games of the season, Ozuna found himself embroiled in a one-for-36 slump which culminated in a demotion to the triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. He spent just over a month with the Pacific Coast League outfit to try and iron out his game, and hit .317/.379/.558/.937 with 12 doubles, five homers and 11 RBI in 33 games. He rejoined the Marlins on August 15th, and hit .278/.320/.469/.789 down the stretch, with 13 doubles, six homers, and 18 RBI in 44 contests.
Ozuna appeared in 123 games overall and hit .259/.308/.383/.691, with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. He also struck out 110 times in 494 plate appearances with only 30 walks.
This past season, Ozuna earned an all-star nod for the first time, with a .266/.321/.452/.773 slashline. He hit 23 doubles with as many homers and 76 RBI, striking out 115 times and drawing 43 walks. He started in 142 of his 148 appearances overall, and finished with more than one hit a career-best 41 times.
On June 19th, Ozuna hit two singles and a three-run homer to account for every run in the game as the Marlins topped the Rockies, 3-0. July 1st would see him go four-for-six with three singles, a homer, and three RBI in a 12-inning, 7-5 win against Atlanta. Two weeks later, Ozuna hit a single, a double, scored twice and finished with two RBI to help defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6. Ozuna signed a one-year contract to play for the Marlins in 2017, for $3,500,000.
You’ve probably already voted by now, but if you haven’t, help us order the Marlins’ top 20. We ranked 100 through 21 by accumulated Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for each player while with the Marlins, but now we’ve decided to get you involved. Vote up if you think a player is too low, or vote down if you think he is too high.