Coming off a 2015 in which FanGraphs rated him as below average both offensively and defensively, Marcell Ozuna rebounded the following year to produce 2.5 WAR, then the second highest mark of his career. Entering 2017, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections pegged Ozuna to be worth exactly 2.5 wins again.
Oh how modest a projection that would prove to be.
There are only so many different combinations of words one can use to describe Ozuna’s breakout campaign. Of chief importance was that his batting performance increased 36% as measured by wRC+. He would end last year with 4.8 fWAR, nearly double his ZiPS projection. Needless to say, the bar has been set high for the man who just might be the Cardinals’ best position player.
When I asked you all for your 2018 Ozuna predictions, this is what you had to say.
Marcell Ozuna 2018 Projections
While the Steamer and ZiPS projections expect a notable level of regression from Ozuna going forward, VEB readers beg to differ. For those wondering, the second lowest WAR projection among all respondents was 3.4. Make no mistake: I would be absolutely ecstatic if the Cardinals receive a five-win encore from Ozuna in 2018, but for the record, I am inclined to take the under on that VEB prediction. (I say hello to Twitter user @OldTakesExposed if Ozuna happily proves me wrong.)
I want to give a big thank you to everybody who has participated in this annual community projections series. Be sure to check back later for the results from other projections surveys.