Monday brought plenty of bad news for fantasy owners, as several star players were injured, including Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton re-injured his right hamstring as he was running out a ground ball in the 11th inning of last night's game vs the Mets. The Marlins placed Stanton on the 15 DL and called up AA outfielder Marcell Ozuna to take his spot on the 25 man roster.
John Sickels from Minor League Ball ranked him as his 116th top prospect in his Minor League Ball Top 150 Prospects for 2013, heading into the season. Sickels ranked him as his fourth ranked Marlin prospect, giving him a B rating, in his Top 20 Marlins Prospects for 2013. Here is a snippet of his thoughts on Ozuna back in early December:
4) Marcell Ozuna, OF, Grade B: Very dangerous power hitter had no problems hitting homers in difficult Florida State League at age 21. Will Double-A pitchers take advantage of his aggressiveness? Perhaps, but I am (for some reason) optimistic about his chances to adjust.
Ozuna has shown off plenty of power in his four minor league season, but has also shown a propensity to strikeout. Last season, hitting in the tough Florida State League, Ozuna hit .266-.328-.476 with 24 HRs, 89 runs, 95 RBI and 8 stolen bases. He struck out 116 times in 539 plate appearances, or 21.5% of the time. His strikeout rate is in a positive trend, dropping from 32.1% in 2010 to 21.9% in 2011 to 21.5% in 2012.
This season, playing for AA Jacksonville, Ozuna was hitting .316-.372-.816 with 5 HRs, 6 runs, 14 RBI and a 8-3 strikeout to walk rate in 9 games played. Small sample size, but his strikeout rate has improved, dropping fro 21.5% to 18.6% this season.
He will play right field for the Marlins, and I expect a lot of strikeouts and a low batting average while in the big leagues. I wonder how long he will be up, as the Marlins may allow Stanton more than the 15 days to recover from this hamstring injury.
Thinking ahead, with all the rumors of the Marlins possibly trading Stanton in the next year or so, it is important to note that Ozuna has played just 15 games in center field in his minor league career. With Christian Yelich slated to be a center fielder in the big leagues, Ozuna could be the heir apparent in right field once Stanton is traded.