The Cardinals were able to acquire their Plan B after Giancarlo Stanton declined to accept a trade to St. Louis; they traded for Marcell Ozuna of the Marlins. The cost was marginal at best, with RHP Sandy Alcantara, OF Magnerius Sierra, RHP Zac Gallen, and LHP Daniel Castano heading to the Marlins. While Alcanara and Sierra were top 10 prospects in the Cardinals system, they were not the ones at the top of the lists.
So, what should the Cardinals expect from Ozuna?
I have Ozuna projected to play 137 games; it seems low since he played 159 last season, but his 3 year average is 143. His comps were also below that at 130, with 2 guys playing fewer than 75 games in their age 27 season.
The 3-year average is pretty much in line with the projections on this one. He’s projected to get 142 hits, with 21 being homers. He’ll score 69 times and knock in 77. He’s projected to have a slash line of .281/.342/.460. His projected war is 2.8.
These are all pretty disappointing. As already mentioned, comps Sixto Lezcano and Ellis Burks didn’t play full seasons, but comps Ellis Valentine and Dusty Baker were both essentially worthless in their age 27 seasons. If you drop these 4, his WAR jumps to 3.6.
His best comp to me is 2013 Adam Jones. Jones hit 33 homers and drove in 108 that season and had a slash line of .285/.318/.493; these numbers are closer to what Ozuna did in 2017.
The projections have been off in the past, and I hope this one is too.