8/20/2014 6:50 P.M. ET
Marlins excited about surging Ozuna's potential
Slugging center fielder goes deep for second straight game in Miami's loss
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- There are stretches where Marcell Ozuna tends to be all or nothing. The 23-year-old center fielder appears to be on one of his hot spells.
In the Marlins' 5-4 loss on Wednesday to the Rangers, Ozuna went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and solo home run in the ninth inning.
With home runs in consecutive games, Ozuna raised his season total to 18 to go along with 65 RBIs.
Over his last six games, he's 9-for-23 (.391) with two homers, three doubles and six RBIs. His on-base percentage is .440 over the stretch, and he has posted a .783 slugging percentage.
"He went through a spell where he was scuffling a bit," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's a streaky guy for us. This would be a great time for him to get on a big streak for us."
The raw talent Ozuna possesses is one reason why the Marlins are so upbeat about his future. For the season, his slash line is .261/.316/.440.
He still has had his rough patches, however. Entering Wednesday, he was hitting .172 in August with one homer and six RBIs.
"I'm more comfortable now," Ozuna said. "They've given me the opportunity, and I have to take it."
Energetic by nature, Ozuna enjoys playing the game as much as anyone on the club.
"Just play the game, and have fun," Ozuna said. "That's the idea. Play the game, have fun and don't worry if you miss one pitch. That happens."
The Marlins are looking for middle-of-the-lineup production to help ease the workload of Giancarlo Stanton. Ozuna could be a big force down the stretch.
"He looks confident," Redmond said. "I like the way he's swinging the bat. We need it. This guy is a huge part of our offense. We need him to drive in those runs. He's gotten some big hits."