(Redirected from Ozhaino Albies)
Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro Albies
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 160 lb.
Infielder Ozzie Albies was signed by the Atlanta Braves as an amateur free agent out of Curacao before the 2014 season. He started off his pro career with a bang, hitting an impressive .364/.446/.444 in 57 games between the GCL Braves and Danville Braves that first year. In 2015, he played for the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .310/.368/.404 in 98 games, scoring 64 runs and stealing 29 bases. In spite of his young age, he was picked to play for the World team in the 2015 Futures Game that year.
In 2016, Ozzie moved up all the way to Triple A after starting the season hitting a scorching .321 in 82 games with the Mississippi Braves of the Double A Southern League. He was promoted to the Gwinnett Braves of the International League on April 30th and shuttled between the two levels for the first time. He struggled a bit, hitting just .248 for Gwinnett. He also had to learn a new position, moving to second base as a result of the Braves acquiring Dansby Swanson in a trade before the season, and the young former overall #1 pick in the 2015 amateur draft being put on a fast track to claim the regular shortstop job in Atlanta, something he would do before the end of the season. Still, it was far from bad for Albies, as he hit .292/.358/.420 in 138 games, with 83 runs, 33 doubles, 10 triples and 3 homers, all while playing regularly in Triple A before turning 20. In 2017, he returned to Gwinnett to start the year, but it was obvious that he would be in the majors before the season was over unless disaster struck. He was called up to make his debut on August 1st, starting at second base against the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .285 with 9 homers and 41 RBI in 97 games at the time of his call-up. He went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. His first major league hit came on August 3rd; a homer off Tony Cingrani of the Dodgers, making him the first player born in 1997 to hit a big league homer. He played regularly the rest of the way at second base, hitting .286 in 57 games, with 6 homers and 28 RBI.
Following his solid first taste of the majors in 2017, Albies started the 2018 season as the Braves' starter at second. He was soon by two other youngsters, Ronald Acuna and Mike Soroka, giving the team the three youngest players in the National League by early May. He continued to hit for a good average, but now found unsuspected power as well. On May 10th, he hit his 11th homer of the season, his first career grand slam against the Miami Marlins, to place him second place in the NL in homers, along with a league-leading 13 doubles. Another homer on May 11th tied him with Bryce Harper for the home run lead as well, not bad for someone standing only 5'9"! On June 25th, he hit the first walk-off homer of his career, an 11th-inning blast off Dylan Floro of the Cincinnati Reds that gave Atlanta a 5-4 win. His great first half landed him a spot at the 2018 All-Star Game. He slowed down during the second half and finished at .261 in 158 games, with 40 doubles, 24 homers, 105 runs and 72 RBI. The Braves won a division title and in the postseason, he went 3 for 15 in heir loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series.
On April 11, 2019, he reached a deal with the Braves for a $35 million contract extension with two club option years that could extend until 2027. It followed on the heels of a similar contract with fellow young star Acuna.
- NL All-Star (2018)
- NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2019)
- NL At-Bats Leader (2019)
- NL Hits Leader (2019)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2018 & 2019)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (2018 & 2019)
- Jorge L. Ortiz: "'Future is now' for Braves thanks to historic young duo of Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña Jr.", USA Today Sports, May 23, 2018. 
- Mike Petriello: "Albies and Acuna could be on path to history: Only 4 teams have had two above-average hitters 21 or younger", mlb.com, May 16, 2018.