Photo: Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Photo: Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Shortstop / 2nd Base
Bats: S
Throws: R

DOB: 1/7/97
#:
5-9, 160 lbs

2016 salary: Minor league contract
Team control: through 2019 (MiLB) / 6 seasons MLB

Combined WAR: (yet to make MLB debut)

The Outfield Fly Ruling

Braves fans are understandably excited about the eventual arrival of Ozhaino Albies, for various reasons. First, that name’s hard not to love. Second, he’s a throwback of a player, a batting average-driven hitter who runs fast and plays hard. Everybody loves the concept of a Prototype Leadoff Hitter™, and Albies seems to fit that classic definition. Third, they’ve been hearing about him for years, because he has been clobbering minor league pitching since beginning his professional career. Expectations may be a bit higher than what’s fair, but he should be a useful big league player regardless. He’ll probably be a good enough 2nd baseman to start regularly in the major leagues. The maturation of his hit tool will decide whether he’s anything more than that. (- B. Blackwell, ’16-’17 offseason)

OFR Articles on Albies

The OFR Scouting Report

Click here for Get To Know Ozzie Albies, a more detailed look at Albies from OFR prospect guru Andy Harris.

Hit: 50 ↑

Albies’ hit tool draws rave reviews, and there’s a good chance he’s a .300+ hitter down the line. He’s been young for every level of the minors he’s reached, and he’s raked at nearly all of those stops. The only place he didn’t rake, however, was in 247 plate appearances in AAA (.248/.307/.351). It’s too small a sample and too young a player to be overly concerned, but that’s the main reason for a somewhat conservative grade above. Make no mistake – the hit tool is a real asset.

Power: 45 ↑

Albies won’t put many pitches over the outfield fence, but if he can put the ball into gaps, his speed can give him a boost in the power numbers. There’s also reason to believe the HR power could potentially improve a tad. How much? If he ever hits 10 in a season, most will consider it a career year.

Baserunning: 60

Albies has plus-plus speed. Scouts agree on that much. Some think he has the speed to steal 30-40 bases a year. On the other hand, MiLB steal totals tend to dwarf MLB totals, and Albies’ season high for steals in the minors is 30. That did happen in 2016, so perhaps he’s improving in the technical aspects of the job, but I can’t help but see him as someone who looks like a 60 steal guy and somehow only has 20.

Defense: 60 (2B) / 50 (SS)

Albies can play shortstop capably, but his arm will likely be more at home at 2nd. While there was a lot of hand-wringing over which of Albies or future double play partner Dansby Swanson to move to 2nd, I doubt the choice was difficult. Albies might have moved to 2nd regardless of Swanson’s acquisition. He should be very good at the keystone, possibly good enough to win a Gold Glove or two.

 

20-80 scale, where 20 will prevent you from reaching the bigs, 30 is terrible, 40 is below average, 50 is MLB average, 60 is plus, 70 is plus-plus, and 80 is HOF-level. The OFR Scouting Report is based mostly on statistical forecasting models such as ZiPs, PECOTA, etc. Arrows indicate projected room for growth or decline, with each representing a 5 point movement on the 20-80 scale.

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