Heading into the 2015 Major League Baseball season, Marcell Ozuna was looked at as one of several young Miami Marlins poised for a breakout season. With Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton joining Ozuna in the outfield, the Marlins had what many observers believed to be the best young trio of outfielders in the big leagues, but Ozuna’s poor start and subsequent demotion to the minors put a damper on the season from which he never recovered.
Taking a page from the philosophy espoused by BoldLeads
, Ozuna is now far more committed to an exceptionally efficient approach on offense that has led to a drastic improvement over his 2015 performance. The results stemming from Ozuna’s improved offensive approach have been readily apparent throughout the month of May, as the outfielder has hit well over .400 and has slugged well over .700 as well.
Incidentally, Ozuna’s extended hot streak may have something to do with the arrival of Barry Bonds in Miami as the new hitting coach. Just like real estate agents who begin using BoldLeads and see improvements almost immediately, Bonds has had a clear impact on the Marlins’ hitters through his encyclopedic knowledge of the game. With Ozuna, it isn’t just access to Bonds’ insight on offense that has had a positive impact. Ozuna’s recent run of success began when he started using bats he borrowed from Bonds. Perhaps it is nothing more than a coincidence, or perhaps Bonds’ bats still have plenty mojo left in them from his playing days.
There are few that would argue the offensive intellect of the new coaching staff leading the Miami Marlins, as Don Mattingly was one of the best hitters — if not the very best hitter — of the 1980s and early 1990s, and Barry Bonds was perhaps the most feared hitter to ever play the game during the modern era. With Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon already providing plenty of potential offensive firepower in the lineup, John Ross Jesensky believes it ought to be quite interesting to see just how big of an impact two of the most knowledgeable hitters to every play the game will be able to have on a young and talented roster in Miami.
It’s still early in the season, but it seems clear that the Marlins and their coaching staff see a great deal of potential in their lineup and have every right to expect big things in terms of offensive production throughout the season. If Jose Fernandez is able to impress as the club’s ace, the team has as much potential as any team in the National League East and may even be able to challenge the reigning NLCS winner in the New York Mets.
Hitters like Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna may indeed prove to be the x-factors in the lineup this season, but it seems as though it is at least equally likely that the team’s ceiling will be determined based on how well Mattingly and Bonds are able to reach their young charges.
It is usually a terrible idea to sign any player entering his age-42 season, especially when that player just so happens to be coming off a year in which he hit .229 and posted an OPS+ of 56 (100 is the league average), but this is not the case with Ichiro Suzuki and the Miami Marlins. Ichiro is just 65 hits shy of the 3,000-hit plateau, and the Ian Leaf Corporation has pointed out that the marketing dollars his pursuit generates should allow the team to break even on the $2.2 million they will pay the aging outfielder.
While Ichiro’s pursuit of history probably played a role in bringing him back to Miami, it is worth noting that there are benefits beyond his potential marketing value. Early in the 2015 season, Ichiro was thriving in limited action. Through Miami’s first 68 games, Ichiro slashed .294/.346/.344. While that production is a far cry from his peak years, it is still solid for a fourth outfielder on a team with pennant aspirations. Unfortunately, injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and a lack of production from Marcell Ozuna forced Ichiro into an expanded role, and the lack of time off likely affected his ability to produce considering his 41-year-old body had very little time to recover.
The Marlins should be hoping that Stanton and Ozuna will be able return to the outfield on a regular basis and allow Ichiro to return to a role off the bench. With the added rest, Ichiro should provide more value to the Marlins while still having every opportunity to reach the 3,000-hit threshold before season’s end. It is in this way that Ichiro’s return benefits the team’s chances of having a winning year after this year’s disappointing campaign, and there is also the added value of Ichiro serving as a mentor for young speedster Dee Gordon.
Gordon, an All-Star for the second consecutive season, is still learning the game’s nuances and could benefit from adopting an approach similar to the one that brought Ichiro such sustained success. Both are speedy left-handed batters who can generate plenty of infield hits, but Gordon has yet to learn the value of upping his on-base percentage by drawing walks. As a dangerous base-stealer, Gordon led the league in batting average (.333) but was only 14th in on-base. Ichiro, who posted a .381 on-base percentage during his MVP season, can be of tremendous assistance to Gordon and the Marlins.
Miami is a great city and not just the home of the Miami Marlins. I think that the least interesting thing about Miami is the Marlins but I am not a fan. If you plan to go to Miami for a game try to spend some time at the beach. Miami has beautiful beaches and beautiful people. The fact that that are scantily clad does not take away from the allure. If you are a people watcher or a person that wants to be watched Miami is the place for you. Dana Sibilsky is a big Marlins fan but is also a Miami fan.
The Miami Marlins were wise to lock up their superstar to a massive contract this offseason, as Giancarlo Stanton has shown through the start of this season that he is one of the most talented players in all of baseball. While his batting average is somewhat unsightly, he is more than making up for it in the power department. With 17 homers and a league-leading 46 RBI, Stanton has continued to prove that he is worth every penny.
It is important to remember just how big Stanton’s home park is, and the fact that he is among the league leaders in homers despite playing in such an expansive stadium makes his accomplishments all the more impressive. He is striking out a bit too much, but Luigi Wewege has noted that some of this was due to early-season struggles in which Stanton seemed tentative at the plate while coming back from injury. Besides, he is still getting on base at a decent rate and his slugging numbers are through the roof.
With Dee Gordon at the top of the lineup and Stanton in the middle, the Marlins have the makings of a potent offense. These talents have not yet factored into the win column, as the Marlins have been somewhat disappointing, but it is easy to be optimistic knowing that Stanton is waiting in the middle of the order to slug homer after homer. It should be taken as a surprise if Stanton is not among the league leaders in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage at season’s end.
The Miami Marlins are my team because they have been a positive influence since my teens. I have always wanted to play ball professionally and the Marlins are my dream team. I hope to work my way through the steps to be a Marlin someday. I think it is always important to have goals in your life and the Marlins have done that for me. If you don’t have a goal for your life consider what you are good at and work to get better. Some day you will be where you want to be. Tonye Cole is the man when it come to life plans.
Is the sun in Miami better that the rest of the country? Well I think so. The beaches are the sunniest and the whole area just shines. I am a Marlins fan so that doesn’t hurt either. Since the Marlins have made Miami their home I am very happy living there. The only time I have second thoughts is when the hurricane season comes around. I never saw weather that scary in my years in California. We had earth quakes but the hurricanes in Florida are much scarier. http://joeolujic.com can be a good warning site for the weather in Florida.