Showdown: Luis Robert vs. Marcell Ozuna

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NBC Sports EDGE Staff
·3 min read
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To celebrate both baseball's return and the launch of our 2021 MLB Draft Guide, we're going to be taking looks at what we have to offer all the way up to Opening Day. With a loaded arsenal of content -- from positional rankings, ADP reports and season-long projections, to mock drafts, projected lineups and draft cheat sheets -- we are as proud as we've ever been of what we've put together and are eager to share it with you in the coming weeks. No matter the format or size of your league, we are confident we can deliver the tools you need to secure that championship hardware.

Today, we'll be giving you a look at the guide's exclusive Player Showdown column series with the below excerpt from the outfielders.

Luis Robert vs. Marcell Ozuna

Robert

Robert burst onto the scene as a 22-year-old in 2020 and certainly lived up to the hype. He crushed 11 homers, swiped nine bases, scored 33 runs and drove in 31. The only category that he wasn't a major contributor in was batting average, where he hit .233. Some would say that big league pitchers started to figure him out, which was the reason for his late-season swoon. My belief, is that the thumb injury he suffered while diving for a ball played a much bigger role. Remember, through August he was slashing an outstanding .298/.348/.612 with 10 homers in his first 33 games. Now fully recovered, and with a year of seasoning under his belt, the sky is the limit in 2021. I don't particularly dislike Marcell Ozuna -- I think that he should smash 30+ homers and soar past 100 RBI while hitting for a nice average. The difference between he and Robert is upside. While he has shown some speed in the past, Ozuna didn't even attempt a single stolen base during the 2020 season. If he's only going to contribute in four categories, it's going to be hard for him to catch Robert -- who seems like 20 HR and 20 SB is his floor. – Dave Shovein (@DaveShovein)

Ozuna

The argument for Robert is not a terribly complicated one. Steals are good, and Robert has the speed to provide plenty of them. Ozuna does not. Robert also has just as good of power potential, and he looked awfully good for most of the 2020 season. It would not shock me one tiny bit if he ended up being a top eight outfielder this year. Not even a smidgen. That being said, I don't think people realize just how good Ozuna has been with the bat over the last couple of years. Last year he hit .330/.431/.636 with 18 homers and 56 RBI -- those last two figures the best in the National League, for the record -- but even in 2019 when his numbers were a pedestrian-ish .241/.328/.472, he was among the league leaders in virtually every category that measures how hard you hit the baseball. There is more red on his Baseball Savant page than an Idaho electoral map. That Braves lineup is awfully good, so while you can't completely count on him to be among the league RBi leaders again, you can't tell me it's hard to see Ozuna batting an awful lot with Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies -- among others -- on the bases. Robert is a must-get in redraft leagues, but for 2021, I’d rather have Ozuna. – Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB)

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