The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of Marcell Ozuna

Marcell Ozuna has a very complicated relationship with Braves Country as he won them over early on. However, off-field issues and subpar on-field performance led to many feeling less than excited about having Ozuna on the team. He's worked hard to try and repair that relationship the best he can in 2023.

Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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Marcell Ozuna
League Championship - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Four / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The heights

The Braves took notice of Ozuna's success against them in the NLDS and signed him to a one-year $18 million deal. Before the season could begin, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the 2020 season. When play resumed in July, Ozuna was given the starting spot in left field. In the shortened 60-game season, he was an absolute offensive force.

His final line for the season was .338/.431/.636. He led the National League with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs, and 145 total bases. In the postseason, Ozuna had 14 hits, 3 home runs, and 12 RBI. Ozuna shined in the NLDS, specifically, batting .308. The Braves would lose the NLCS to the Dodgers in seven games. However, for now, he had won the admiration of Braves fans.

The fall

In 2021, the Braves started the season off slow and hovered below .500 for most of the year. The Braves lost All-Star Ronald Acuna in July and were on the brink of finishing under .500. We all know how this story goes...trades were made, a season was saved, and the Braves captured the NL East with an 88-74 record to stay afloat. However, Braves fans also remember that year for another reason.

On May 29th, Ozuna was arrested and charged with aggravated assault by strangulation and battery. Ozuna had recently suffered an injury while the Braves were in Boston which is why he wasn't with the team. Police claimed they witnessed him grabbing his wife by the neck and shoving her into a wall. This shocked Braves fans everywhere and Ozuna was placed on administrative leave on September 9th.

This caused him to miss the rest of the season and a World Series win. Despite Ozuna's charges being withdrawn by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office due to video evidence proving Police reports wrong, Ozuna's reputation was tarnished. He then completed 200 hours of community service, an anger management program, and a 24-week family violence intervention program following the incident.