The 22 year-old, second baseman has been overlooked this season due to other stars on the team.
This season has been a breakout year for Atlanta Braves star, Ozzie Albies. Some may even want to argue that he signed an extension with Atlanta too soon (Early in the season, Albies signed a 7-year extension for $35 million dollars). His statistics do not lie about the type of production he has brought to the Braves this season. Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, and Josh Donaldson have all stole the spotlight from other Braves players; however, Albies has been just as great and the statistics prove this.
Albies is a career .278 hitter in a little over two years in the MLB. In his first full season in 2018, Ozzie had a .261 average with 24 HR’s and 72 RBI’s. With a little over a week left in the 2019 season, he is hitting .293 with 23 HR’s and 81 RBI’s. The home runs are approximately the same total. However, when one looks further into the statistics, it is obvious that 2019 has been Ozzie’s best season in the MLB so far. For example, he had a total of 167 hits and 289 total bases in 2018. This season Albies has 180 hits and 307 total bases. One must remember, he more than likely has over 30 plate appearances left this season; these numbers will continue to climb.
Ozzie has also increased his doubles and triples totals this season. That being said, the statistic that impresses the most is his walk totals. In 2018, Ozzie only had 36 walks. He was known to be impatient and would always swing at the first pitch. This season, he has waited on better pitches to hit and increased his walks total to 52.
Overall, Albies ranks 2nd in batting average for everyday players on the team (only behind Freddie Freeman). His better eye at the plate has allowed the Braves more opportunities to have baserunners on for Freeman and Donaldson.
2019 has also allowed Ozzie to put up his best defensive numbers yet. He currently has a fielding percentage of .994 and has rarely made any mistakes. In 2018, Albies made a total of 10 errors; this season, that number has decreased to 4. There is no doubt that Ozzie should be a Gold Glove finalist this season. Another statistic to look at is the amount of double plays that he has helped turn. Albies had a direct hand in 94 double plays in 2018. This number has increased to 115 in 2019. All this being said, there is still a week of baseball to be played before this season concludes.
Give Ozzie Some Credit for Atlanta’s Success in 2019
Overall, the media’s narrative has focused on whether or not the Braves can have three players reach 40 HR’s. That being said, fans have focused on that aspect of the team instead of looking at other important contributors. There is no debating that Acuna, Freeman, and Donaldson have helped the Braves have one of their best seasons in two decades. However, people must not forget about Ozzie Albies. His offense and defense have both progressed in 2019 and will play a crucial role in the postseason for the Braves. Albies has provided consistency all season and that’s what needs to continue if Atlanta wants to make a World Series run. If 2019 is any indication of Ozzie’s future, the Braves may have gotten a super bargain when they signed him to an extension this season.