Marcell Ozuna 2020 Season Recap

Marcell Ozuna was one of the best moves made by the Braves last winter
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Twenty-nine-year-old Marcell Ozuna finished his eighth major league season, and had career bests in batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.431) and slugging percentage (.636)…Ozuna played in all 60 games, and had team highs in home runs (18) and RBI (56). 

N.L. ranks: home runs (18, 1st), RBI (56, 1st), total bases (145, 1st), hits (77, 2nd), extra-base hits (32, T2nd), batting average (.338, 3rd), on-base % (.431, 3rd), slugging % (.636, 3rd), OPS (1.067, 3rd), AB/HR (12.67, 6th), walks (38, T6th) and fWAR (2.5, T10th). 

Hit 18 home runs and drove in 56, leading the National League in both categories...Is the first Braves player to lead the N.L. in either home runs or RBI since 2005, when Andruw Jones also paced the circuit in both... Jones hit a franchise-record 51 HR and had 128 RBI. • Extrapolated over a full 162-game season, and Ozuna's totals paced to 49 home runs and 154 RBI. 

Ozuna was the first N.L. player to lead the league in both of those since Miami's Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 (59 HR, 132 RBI). • His 18 home runs traveled an average of a projected 429 feet, the farthest in the majors. The Braves hit 10 home runs over 450 feet in 2020, and Ozuna was responsible for four of them. 

His longest was a 469-foot home run off the Yankees' Gerrit Cole in Game 1 of a doubleheader on August 26...That was the second longest homer of his career. • Hit a career-best three home runs on September 1 at Boston, driving in six. • He hit a two-run homer in the first, a solo shot in the seventh, and a three-run homer in the eighth. 

It was the 24th three-homer game by a Braves player in the franchise’s modern era (since 1900), and the first since Matt Kemp on April 29, 2017 at Milwaukee...Teammate Adam Duvall would record a three-homer effort in the Braves' next game, September 2. 

Ozuna was the 15th player from a visiting team with a three-homer game at Fenway Park, and the first to ever do so from a National League club. • His six RBI were the most by a Braves player in a single game since 2008, when Jeff Francoeur drove in seven on April 12 at Washington (3-for-5, 2 HR). • His second homer was the 1,000th hit of his career...Became the 60th Dominican-born player to reach that milestone, and one of 75 active major leaguers to have done so. 

His first home run with the Braves tied the game in the ninth inning on July 25, driving a two-out, full-count pitch out to right-center field off the Mets' Edwin Díaz. • Ozuna became the first Braves player to hit a go-ahead or gametying homer with the team down to its final strike since September 7, 2013, when Andrelton Simmons drove a 2-2, ninth-inning pitch from Jonathan Papelbon out to left field with a runner aboard to tie the game at 5...The Braves eventually lost that game, 6-5.

The last player whose first home run for the Braves came with the team behind and either tied the game or put Atlanta ahead in the ninth inning or later was Brian R. Hunter, who hit a two-run, game-tying home run in the 11th inning against Philadelphia on June 5, 1991...Hunter’s blast came against Darrel Akerfelds and tied the game at 10 apiece. 

His 55 RBI were the most by an Atlanta-era player (since 1966) in the first 60 games of a season, surpassing Andres Galarraga, who had 55 RBI in that period in 1998. • The franchise's modern-era record is 57 by Wally Berger in 1935. • Twenty-five of his RBI came with two outs, the most such RBI in the National League...Only New York-AL's Luke Voit had more (26)... Chicago-AL's Eloy Jiménez also had 25. 

Ozuna hit .333/.440/.619 (28-for-56) with two outs. OZUNA CONT’D: Since debuting in 2013, his 594 RBI are sixth most among major league outfielders, trailing Nelson Cruz (739), Mike Trout (699), J.D. Martinez (648), Bryce Harper (609) and Justin Upton (596). • His 166 home runs are 12th most in that time. • Hit his 150th career home run on July 26, off the Mets' Corey Oswalt. 

Was a two-time National League Player of the Week. • Received his first honor for the period of August 31-September 6... Batted .464/.531/1.143 over seven games, going 13-for-28... His five homers tied for most in the majors, and his 13 RBI paced the league outright. • Also won the award for the season-ending period of September 21-27...Hit .500/.606/.923 (13-for-26) in seven games with three home runs, eight RBI and more walks (7) than strikeouts (4)...His .606 on-base percentage was the best in the N.L. • San Diego's Manny Machado was the only other N.L. player to win multiple Player of the Week awards this season. 

Ozuna previously won three of these awards...Twice in 2017 with Miami, and once in 2018 with St. Louis. • Hit a N.L.-best .394 (41-for-104) in September...His .488 on-base percentage (3rd) and .750 slugging percentage (3rd) in 26 games in the month both placed among N.L. leaders. • Thirty-three of his RBI came in September, tying the Atlanta-era record for a calendar month...Freddie Freeman also had 33 last June...Freeman was second in the majors in RBI in September (32).

Only three other Braves have reached the 30 RBI mark in a month since the franchise relocated to Atlanta in 1966 (Bob Horner, 32 in July ‘80; Mark Teixeira, 32 in August ‘07 and Dale Murphy, 30 in August ‘86). • Ten of Ozuna's home runs came in the month...Only three other National Leaguers (Pete Alonso, Adam Duvall and AJ Pollock) reached double-figures in home runs in September. 

Had the best average exit velocity (93.0), hard-hit rate (54.4%), barrel rate (16.0%) and walk rate (14.2%) of his career. • His hard-hit rate (batted balls with an exit velocity over 95 mph) was ninth best in the majors, while his average exit velocity tied for 10th best. • Hit a 115.6 mph double off the Phillies' Zack Wheeler on August 28, the hardest hit by a Braves player this season...It was the fourth hardest by an Atlanta player in the Statcast era (since ‘15). 

Recorded his first career five-hit game on September 11 at Washington... Went 5-for-6 with one walk, one run and four RBI. • It was the Braves' first five-hit game since OF Nick Markakis on April 4, 2019 against the Cubs...Markakis went 5-for-5 with three doubles, five RBI and three runs scored. 

There were five other five-hit games in the major leagues this season.  Was Atlanta's Opening Day left fielder...Made his seventh consecutive Opening Day start...Signed a one-year deal with the Braves in January.  

For more Atlanta Braves coverage, listen to The Bill Shanks Show weekdays at 3:00 p.m. ET on SportsRadio 93.1 FM WXKO TheSuperStations.com. Follow Bill on Twitter @billshanks and email him at TheBillShanksShow@yahoo.com.