A week ago, when Giancarlo Stanton hit the disabled list with a hamstring strain, the Marlins called up 22-year-old outfielder Marcell Ozuna from Double-A Jacksonville. Ozuna was off to a noisy start in the Southern League, hitting .333/.383/.810 over his first 10 games with five homers and 15 RBIs.
Upon joining the Fish, he actually picked up the pace.
Ozuna has hit safely in every game he's played for Miami thus far, going 11-for-23 with four doubles, four runs scored and four RBIs. He hit his first major league home run on Saturday, a wall-scraper off Cole Hamels, then went 4-for-5 on Sunday with a pair of doubles.
So it's time we kicked the tires on this kid. He's owned in just eight percent of Yahoo! leagues, available to most of you.
The first thing we should note about Ozuna is that he seems unlikely to hit for average, long-term. He's a career .274/.333/.487 hitter in the minors, and he posted a .266/.328/.476 slash in the Florida State League last season. Plate discipline has been an issue. And the Marlins obviously promoted Ozuna ahead of schedule, before he'd even made 50 plate appearances above Single-A. He's hardly a finished product. In Miami, he'll play in a pitcher-friendly home park, batting in a lousy lineup. So there's no shortage of reasons to be skeptical.
But if you're looking for at least a low-level power upgrade, then perhaps Marcell can help. He's hit 20-plus homers in each of his last three minor league seasons, and he led the FSL in runs, RBIs, homers and total bases in 2012. He's also just a year removed from a 17-steal campaign at Greensboro, so he offers sneaky speed.
Stanton's injury is a Grade 2 strain, which means he'll be out of the mix for multiple weeks. Ozuna has a shot to firmly establish himself with Miami — he's already batting fifth — and he's spent time at all three outfield spots in the minors (mostly right-field). Consider the add, mixed leaguers.
With Ozuna already doing damage in the bigs, plus Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich (12-game hit streak) lurking at Double-A, there's clearly outfield talent in the pipeline here. You know, in case the Marlins wanted to flip Stanton to a team where he could maximize his upper-tier fantasy potential. No pressure, Fish.