How did a once prominent baseball star, fall all the way to not playing at all, and facing a probable suspension, and possible DFA? This is the story of how Marcell Ozuna went from phenom to felon, in 3 short years.
Marcell Ozuna was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on November 12th, 1990. Baseball ran in Ozuna’s family, as his cousin Pablo was an MLB veteran and champion with the White Sox. Ozuna was signed by the Marlins at just 17 and would show off his tremendous bat early on in his career. In 2013, Ozuna made his MLB debut, joining a young marlins core poised for a bright future. Ozuna was a solid hitter his first few seasons, but didn’t play a major role until 2016.
In 2016, Ozuna was selected for the 2016 All-Star Game as a replacement player, but struggled in the second half. in 2017, however Ozuna would truly breakout with a 143 wrc+, and a 5.8 war earning him a starting spot in the All-Star Game. 2017 Also saw an Mvp season from teammate Giancarlo Stanton, as well as big seasons from JT Realmuto, Christian Yelich, and Justin Bour. but things were changing in Miami, as Derek Jeter joined the ownership, and would soon clean house.
On December 14th, 2017 Ozuna was shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals as an attempt to rebuild the marlins, and cut costs. Ozuna’s Cardinals days would see Ozuna hit well, and provide for both the ’18+’19 Cardinals, but he did not reach his 2017 level numbers in St. Louis. In the 2019/20 offseason, Ozuna signed a 1-year “prove it” deal with the Atlanta Braves, to see if he still had it in him. Ozuna would be joining a stacked lineup surrounded by stars like Freeman, Acuna, and Albies.
Even though the 2020 season was shortened, Ozuna made the most of it and absolutely raked. He would lead the NL in both home runs (18) and runs batted in (56), putting up better numbers than even his 2017 season. The Braves would come close to the pennant, but miss by 1 game in 2020. After recieving his second silver slugger award, Ozuna signed a 4 year-$65 million extension with the Atlanta Braves. The core was there to make a run at a World Series again.
Here’s where the issues start. after a slow start for ozuna and the braves, the Braves would recieve another major blow. On may 29th, Ozuna was arrested for aggrivated assault and battery against his wife. Although, the charges would later be dropped, Ozuna would still not play again in 2021, as the Braves went on to win it all. After acquiring 4 outfielders at the 2021 Trade Deadline, it was unknown what role Ozuna would play on the team in 2022.
Ozuna would return in 2022, and despite another down season, the braves have looked red hot, posting the 5th best record in baseball (as of 8/21/22). Ozuna had posted 20 home runs, playing primarily as a designated hitter, before he was arrested once more. On August 19th, 2022, at 4a.m. Ozuna was arrested for a DUI after celebrating a win over the new york mets. Ozuna is no longer a player any team can trust to stay on the field, and a longer suspension is in order.