Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: Ozzie Albies


Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive featuring Ozzie Albies!

This is a segment where I will break down a player’s season using what I find on Statcast. Albies is a perfect player to begin with, considering the slow start to his season.

I’ve personally seen fantasy baseball managers drop underperforming players on a whim because they aren’t putting up the flashy numbers right away. One of these players is Atlanta Braves’ second baseman Ozzie Albies, who is slashing a lowly .091/130/.091 through six games. However, if we take a deep dive into his underlying numbers on Statcast, you will notice they paint a different picture.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: Ozzie Albies

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Diving Deeper

After compiling no hits and walks in his first 19 at-bats of the season, he broke through with a single to right field in the first half of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Washington Nationals. As you peel back this onion, you soon discover that bad luck may have a lot to do with Albies’ early slump.

Before we get into the heavy stuff, it is worth noting that he’s only struck out four times in 22 at-bats. He’s still putting the ball into play more often than not, but the bigger issue is the lack of hits, which is only two if you’re counting.

His Expected Batting Average (xBA) is .316, which is a simplified way to explain that he’s making good contact on the baseball. He is sporting a higher hard-hit percentage (46.2%) than his career average (31%), and that explains the large disparity between his batting average and xBA.

His launch angle this season (25.3 degrees) is also vastly higher than what he has recorded over his career (16.1 degrees). That suggests the extra loft he is putting on the ball is contributing to more outs. Everything we have seen from Albies in this small sample size has been mystifying and these numbers should even themselves out as the season progresses.

2020 Season

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Speaking of sample size, that is essentially what the shortened 2020 season offered us. And that is especially true for Albies, who was only able to play 29 games due to a wrist injury.

He was limited to only 124 plate appearances, but he was still able to slash a respectable .271/.306/.466. However, he wasn’t able to record enough Batted Ball Events (BBE) to qualify for the minimum amount on Statcast.

As good as the numbers looked on the surface, his 2020 season is not a viable representation of his capabilities.

2019 Season

Albies recorded a robust slash line of .295/.352/.500 in 2019. He also ranked in the top five of NL batters for doubles (43) and triples (8). Albies isn’t the hardest hitter, but he still ranked in the top-40 league-wide for Hard Hits and Sweet Spot Percentage.  His xBA also ranked in the top 10% (.285).

Even with a slow start by him and the Braves, it is realistic to project these same numbers for his 2021 season if he manages to stay healthy. If he continues to hit second in a loaded Braves batting order, he can contribute towards the counting stats for your fantasy team such as Runs and RBIs.

His 24 home runs ranked third among second baseman in 2019, behind Jose Altuve and Rougned Odor. He does possess some power at a position that does not produce many sluggers.

2021 Season Outlook

Ozzie Albies is an elite player at his position and was drafted using a premium pick. His slow start has opened a buy-low window for managers to try and trade for him. The underlying numbers are sho he should improve soon. It should not be long until he and the rest of the Braves offense break out of their slump.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Jordan McDonald

Jordan McDonald is a sports journalist located in Toronto, Ontario. He has a decade of experience playing fantasy sports and specializes in baseball and football. Follow him on Twitter: @DonaldMcJordan

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  1. Pingback: 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Hitting Planner (April 12 - April 18) - Fantasy Six Pack

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