Atlanta Braves: Marcell Ozuna Pleads No Contest to 2022 DUI Charge, Ending the Case

Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna had a breakout series against the Marlins.
Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna had a breakout series against the Marlins. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna pled no contest in Norcross Municipal Court to conclude his arrest for driving under the influence in August 2022. 

According to a story by AJC Sports, “Ozuna will pay a $1,000 fine as part of the plea agreement.” The report contained no further details about the agreement.

After posting bail, Ozuna told reporters he knew he’d let the club and his family down, but because the legal proceedings were still underway, he made no other comments.

Ozuna’s Struggles On The Field

After returning from his suspension in 2022, Ozuna appeared in 124 games contributing 19 doubles and 24 homers. but batted a weak .226/.274/.413/.687 and an 89 OPS+, and offered little in the way of defensive value.

He played winter ball with Gigantes in the Dominican Winter League in an effort to regain his stroke, but his performance was worse than his regular season stats with the Braves.

The good news is that he’s hitting .333/.417/.762/1.179 with three homers and six RBI against the Marlins. The bad news is he’s hitting only .082/.211/.246/.457 with three homers in 71 PA, 61 AB, against everyone else.

He tried to strengthen his right shoulder over the winter to improve his throws from the outfield, but the Braves have used him on defense only twice this season.

That’s A Wrap

I said on my podcast and on Twitter that Ozuna looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders before the Marlins series and opined that things won’t improve until he finds joy in playing the game again.

During the Marlins series, Ozuna looked like a different man. He was smiling, and it appeared he’d found his joy, and his teammates looked as happy for him as he was for himself, and that’s a good thing.

Baltimore’s pitching slammed the door on his bat, but they did that to most of the team. The series against the Fish may have given him more time, but he’ll need to start hitting against the rest of the league soon. Perhaps closing the chapter on the legal issues that plagued him since 2021 will help.