BLUF: Has the power arm and bat of a classic right fielder, along with enormous risk.
The Player: Marcell Ozuna (OF, Miami Marlins) – Ozuna was signed in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic and made his professional debut that summer in the DSL, hitting .279/.335/.416 as a 17-year old. After coming Stateside during spring training 2009, Ozuna ripped the ball with a .313 average, 22 doubles and five home runs in the Gulf Coast League. He continued hitting well with Jamestown in 2010, knocking 21 home runs and hitting .267 in 68 games. A six-game trial at Low-A Greesnboro went poorly as he hit just .160 over that span. Ozuna returned to Greensboro in 2011, hitting .266 with 28 doubles and 23 home runs, showing his power potential. He nearly duplicated his 2011 season despite moving up a level in 2012, hitting .266 with 27 doubles and 24 home runs.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2010), Industry Contacts
Body (6-2, 190): Very good frame. Present strength. Still has projection. Athletic body with powerful, explosive athleticism at times. MLB body.
Hit: Free swinger. Pitch recognition is nearly non-existent. Plus-plus bat speed and excellent plate coverage. Lacks barrel control and will always have plenty of swing and miss as a result. Doesn’t change approach depending on situation and count. Aggressive, hard swing at all times. Would get eaten alive at the highest levels now. Still raw. Potential to be an average hitter but extremely risky proposition. Project below-average hitter with modest ability to work counts long term. Grade – 20/40
Power: Huge raw. Surprising ability to translate raw power to game situations given struggles with contact. Has legit plus-plus raw and shows 60-grade in-game right now. Drives the ball with both bat speed and swing leverage. Big time power is to pull side. Doesn’t always trust his strength will carry oppo but it can. Potential for 25+ home runs at peak. Grade (raw power) – 70/70
Arm: Cannon. Second plus-plus tool. Huge velocity and good release from OF. Accuracy comes and goes but has improved since I saw him in the NYPL. True weapon and fits the RF profile. Grade – 70/70
Fielding: Routes and jumps are solid, if unspectacular. Athletic and covers decent ground to both sides. Solid overall range. Quality RF defender that should be at least average. Arm is best part of defensive package. High-energy defender with all-out mentality. Grade – 50/50
Speed: Average raw runner. Good instincts that help speed play up. Potential to steal 10-15 bases if given the opportunity to run. Success rate should be high. Athleticism should carry speed and allow him to maintain present grade. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Classic RF profile. Power arm and power bat stand out. Arm is a true weapon that will deter some advancement from runners. Power is true plus-plus raw and he can get to most of it in games, despite other holes in offensive game. Hit tool is a significant question. Contact doesn’t come easy. Has bat speed and plate coverage to hit. Lacks pitch recognition and barrel control; both are unlikely to come enough to get him to better than below-average. Chance to hit .250-.260 with 25 home runs. Solid defender and average runner, both of which play up a half-tick because of energy, effort and instincts. Overall profile is a solid-average regular that wows people with some mammoth home runs and drool-worthy throws.
Relative Risk: High. Boom or bust type because of volatility of hitting profile.
Future: Ozuna isn’t going to suddenly move quickly. He could very well take two years to get out of Double-A because of his issues with pitch recognition and his general feel for hitting. His MLB arrival is likely to come in 2014 and he won’t be a fixture until 2015.