3. Will Marcell Ozuna Rediscover his 2014 Swing?
New hitting coach Barry Bonds, and new manager Don Mattingly strongly believe in OF Marcell Ozuna, and why not?
If the Marlins have anything going for them, it’s the young talent on the current roster.
However, just like Fernandez, Loria reportedly isn’t a big fan of Ozuna because he frequently shows up to camp out of shape. If there was one sure thing, it was that Ozuna would be traded. Recently, however, this story has completely flipped.
Here is what Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said in his most recent Sunday Baseball Notes column:
“Up to 10 teams have inquired and/or have serious interest. But Marlins executives are getting pushback from new hitting coach Barry Bonds and manager Don Mattingly, feeling they can shape Ozuna into a 30/30 performer. Ozuna has not been a favorite of owner Jeffrey Loria, who feels Ozuna hasn’t come to camp in shape the last two seasons. But while the Marlins could get a haul for him, they are now considering keeping him.”
Ozuna certainly has the potential to be a 30/30 guy, and that is a nice goal. However, in order to compete in 2016, all Ozuna has to do is rediscover his 2014 swing and become a key cog in the Marlins offense with Stanton and Gordon.
In 2014 Ozuna offered another power threat for opposing pitchers to deal with batting .269 with 23 HRs and 85 RBIs. He regressed in 2015 playing in less games, and hitting just .259 with 10 HRs and 44 RBIs. Ozuna also spent some time in the minor leagues, and that was a disaster.
That is a significant drop in production that should cause concern. If the Marlins trade him now, they are losing a potential star at a position where they don’t have a lot of depth.
Loria needs to get over his personal grudge against Ozuna because he is a key part of the Marlins.