Ozuna’s Free Agency

Hayden See, Reporter

Marcell Ozuna’s free-agency is a question that looms for the Cardinals this Winter. 

  “Ozuna has to be re-signed. No reason not to,” senior Blake Ebner said.

Losing Ozuna would add to  an already offensively inconsistent club, as their OPS+ ranks in the bottom third of baseball. Despite missing 32 games due to injury, Ozuna ranked 5th among St. Louis hitters in fWAR (2.6) — a cumulative stat. Additionally, both his OPS (.804) and wRC+ (110) only trailed Edman and Goldschmidt. The -.046 difference between his xwOBA and wOBA was the largest in baseball (min. 250 PA). On the topic of offensive metrics, his 49.2% hard-hit rate ranked the 7th highest in the MLB (min. 300 BBE). Those both bode extremely well for sustained production.

“Looking at the numbers, they need to give him however much money he wants,” senior Ethan Markovich said.

Moving onto the defensive side, Ozuna is heavily criticized for his play in the outfield. While that ball should have probably been caught by him the NLCS, his overall defensive metrics in 2019 were above average; he had 2 defensive-runs saved, an ultimate-zone rating of 5.7, and a range rating of 4.6. Those numbers won’t win you any defensive awards, but they go to show you that he’s not nearly as bad in the outfield as many fans seem to believe.

“The defensive metrics provide so much more clarity,” senior Amare Johnson said.

More clarity will be given to the situation as the offseason continues.