Ozzie Albies
Ozzie Albies walks away from celebrating Nationals from Nationals vs. Braves at Nationals Park, April 6th, 2021 (All-Pro Reels Photography) (51101671212) (cropped).png
Albies with the Atlanta Braves in 2021
Atlanta Braves – No. 1
Second baseman
Born: (1997-01-07) January 7, 1997 (age 25)
Willemstad, Curaçao
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 1, 2017, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
(through 2022 season)
Batting average.270
Home runs98
Runs batted in346
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro "Ozzie" Albies (born January 7, 1997) is a Curaçaoan professional baseball second baseman for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). Albies signed with the Braves organization in 2013, and made his MLB debut with the team in 2017. During his first full season, Albies was named to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He won the National League Silver Slugger Award for second basemen twice, in 2019 and 2021. In 2021 he won the Heart & Hustle Award.

Early life

Albies was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, to parents Osgarry and Judari.[1][2][3] His father died in 2013 of a heart attack, aged 40.[2] Albies has a younger brother, Zhhihir, and sister, Jeanalyn.[4][5]

Career

Minor leagues

Albies started playing baseball at the age of six, and began switch hitting in 2013.[6][7] Discovered by the Curaçao-based scout Dargello Lodowica,[1] Albies was signed by the Atlanta Braves for $350,000 as an international free agent on July 2, 2013.[8][9] Influencing his decision to sign was the Braves' connection to Andruw Jones and Andrelton Simmons, both, like Albies, natives of Curaçao.[10] He made his professional debut in 2014 with the Gulf Coast Braves and joined the Danville Braves in July.[11] In 57 games, Albies hit .364/.446/.444 with a home run.[12] After the season, he was ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball by Keith Law,[13][14] and fifth-best in Braves farm system by Baseball America.[15]

Albies began the 2015 season with the Rome Braves.[16] In July, he was named to the All Star Futures Game.[17][18] He was the only Braves prospect to appear in the game that year, as well as the youngest player on the field.[19][20] Albies went 1-2 in the game, which the World Team lost to the U.S. 10–1.[21] He fractured his right thumb during the first week of August and missed the remainder of the season.[22] In 98 games, Albies hit .310/.368/.404, stole 29 bases, and committed 17 errors.[23][24] MLB.com placed him third on the list of top Braves prospects at the end of 2015, and 30th overall throughout the minors.[25]

Albies with the Gwinnett Braves in 2016
Albies with the Gwinnett Braves in 2016

Albies was invited to spring training in 2016, and opened the season with the Double A Mississippi Braves.[26] After 22 appearances with Mississippi, he hit .369/.442/.512 and was promoted to the Triple A Gwinnett Braves on April 30.[27] In two months with Gwinnett, Albies hit .248/.307/.351. On June 30, he returned to Mississippi, playing second base alongside shortstop Dansby Swanson.[28][29] Upon Swanson's promotion to the major leagues, Albies remained in Mississippi, having hit for a .292 batting average and a .778 OPS between the Double A and Triple A levels. Mississippi made the Southern League playoffs, but Albies injured his right elbow in the first postseason game and sat out the remainder of the season.[30]

Atlanta Braves

2017

Albies was again invited to spring training at the start of the 2017 season.[31] He was called up later that year on August 1, and made his major league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[32] On August 3, 2017, against the Dodgers, Albies hit his first career home run for his first Major League hit.[33]

2018

Albies was part of the Braves' Opening Day starting lineup to open the 2018 season.[34] On June 12, 2018, Albies hit a grand slam against the New York Mets en route to an 8–2 win.[35] Albies became the youngest player ever to have two grand slams.[36] On June 25, 2018, Albies hit his first career walk-off home run against the Cincinnati Reds.[37] On July 8, 2018, while owning a .281 batting average with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs,[38] Albies was named an All-Star via the player vote in his first full year in the major leagues.[39][40] On July 11, against the Toronto Blue Jays, he had his first career multi-home run game.[41]

In 2018, he batted .261/.305/.452 with 24 home runs and 72 RBIs. On defense, he committed 10 errors, fourth-most of all NL second basemen.[42]

2019

On April 11, 2019, Albies signed a seven-year, $35 million extension to remain with the Braves.[43][44] The deal includes options for the 2026 and 2027 seasons. Both years are worth $7 million with a $4 million buyout.[45]

In 2019, he batted .295/.352/.500 with 102 runs, 24 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 112 strikeouts.[46] Albies and teammates Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman won the 2019 National League Silver Slugger Awards for second base, outfield, and first base, respectively.[47][48] On defense, in 2019 he had the best fielding percentage of all major league second basemen (.994).[49]

2020

In the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season, he batted .271/.306/.466 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.[46]

2021

On June 3, 2021, Albies recorded his 500th career hit, an RBI double off of Washington Nationals reliever Sam Clay.[50] Albies was selected as a reserve for the 2021 All-Star Game.[51] When Albies hit his twenty-fifth home run of the season on September 4, the 2021 Atlanta Braves became the second team in Major League Baseball history to have its starting infielders hit twenty-five home runs each.[52] On September 22, Albies recorded his thirtieth home run and one hundredth RBI of the season, marking the first time in his career that he reached either milestone. He became the first second baseman in Braves franchise history to have hit thirty home runs and driven in one hundred runs in the same season.[53] While playing the Philadelphia Phillies on September 29, Albies scored his 100th run of the season.[54]

In the 2021 season, he batted .259/.310/.488 in 629 at bats (2nd in the NL), with 103 runs (4th), 40 doubles (3rd), 7 triples (3rd), 30 home runs, 106 RBIs (3rd), and 128 strikeouts.[42] He swung at a higher percentage of pitches in the strike zone than any other major leaguer, at 83.4%.[55] On defense, he led all second basemen with 389 assists and committed 8 errors, fourth-most of all NL second basemen.[42] The Braves finished with an 88–73 record, clinching the NL East, and eventually won the 2021 World Series, giving the Braves their first title since 1995.[56] Following the 2021 season, Albies won a second Silver Slugger Award,[57] as well as the Heart and Hustle Award.[58]

2022

Albies fractured his left foot in a game against the Washington Nationals on June 13, 2022.[59][60] He was subsequently placed on the 60-day injured list and underwent a surgical procedure, performed by Robert Anderson.[61] Albies returned to the active roster on September 16.[62][63] The next day, Albies fractured his right pinky while sliding into second base.[64][65]

References

  1. ^ a b Waldstein, David (March 13, 2016). "Braves Again Look to Curaçao and Find Another Top Prospect". New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b McQuade, Alec (February 17, 2017). "Tragedy and competition fuel Ozzie Albies' pursuit to the majors". WXIA-TV. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Bowman, Mark (July 12, 2018). "Albies' biggest fan there to see 19th, 20th HRs". MLB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Hummer, Steve (May 7, 2016). "Albies one big step away from fulfilling Braves dream". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  5. ^ O'Brien, David (March 27, 2018). "Braves' Albies: Small in stature, large in impact". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  6. ^ O'Hara, Jim (May 15, 2015). "Feature on Ozzie Albies". MILB.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Jackson, Josh (February 17, 2016). "Prospect Q&A: Albies set to build on success". MILB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  8. ^ Walton, Carroll Rogers (June 19, 2015). "Albies gives Braves another top prospect from Curacao". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  9. ^ McDaniel, Kiley (January 29, 2015). "Evaluating the Prospects: Atlanta Braves". Fangraphs. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Dillard, Zach (December 17, 2015). "Touted Braves prospect Ozhaino Albies open to position change". Fox Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Johnson, Matthew (July 21, 2014). "Danville Takes Second Game After Dropping First To Astros". MILB.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  12. ^ O'Brien, David (January 19, 2015). "Atlanta Braves prospects list shuffled by multiple trades". Albany Herald. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  13. ^ O'Brien, David (January 29, 2015). "Peraza leads 6 Braves prospects in ESPN's Top 100". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Law, Keith (January 29, 2015). "Top 100 prospects (Nos. 1-50)". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  15. ^ O'Brien, David (June 25, 2015). "Braves have another potential standout shortstop from Curacao". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Lee, David (April 18, 2015). "Rome Braves teen Albies turns heads with shortstop play". Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  17. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 25, 2015). "Prospect Albies headed to Futures Game". MLB.com. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  18. ^ "Braves prospect compared to Simmons, Ozhaino Albies, to play in Futures Game". Fox Sports. June 25, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Lee, David (July 11, 2015). "Albies to represent Braves in Futures Game". Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  20. ^ Cunningham, Michael (July 12, 2015). "Braves prospect Albies shines with future stars". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  21. ^ Bondy, Robert (July 2015). "Albies showcases talents at Futures Game". MLB.com. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  22. ^ Collazo, Carlos (August 2015). "Braves top prospect Albies to miss rest of season". MLB.com. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  23. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 4, 2016). "Phenom Albies becoming 'the talk of the coaching staff'". MLB.com. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ozzie Albies Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com.
  25. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 17, 2015). "Albies next Braves star to hail from Curacao?". MLB.com. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  26. ^ Dykstra, Sam (April 4, 2016). "Braves Prospect Primer: Rebuild rolls on". MILB.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  27. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 30, 2016). "Braves' top prospects climbing through system". MLB.com. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  28. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 30, 2016). "Albies moved to Double-A to play next to Swanson". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  29. ^ O'Brien, David (July 1, 2016). "Swanson, Albies together now in Braves' Double-A infield". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  30. ^ Bowman, Mark (September 8, 2016). "Braves prospect Albies injures right elbow". MLB.com. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  31. ^ Bowman, Mark (January 25, 2017). "Albies, Newcomb among Braves' NRIs to camp". MLB.com. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  32. ^ Bowman, Mark (August 2, 2017). "Prospect Albies makes MLB debut for Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  33. ^ Burns, Gabriel (August 4, 2017). "Ozzie Albies collects first career hit and homer in one swing". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  34. ^ "Braves announce 2018 Opening Day roster". FOX Sports. March 29, 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  35. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 13, 2018). "Albies' grand slam caps 6-run sixth, lifts Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  36. ^ O'Brien, David (June 13, 2018). "5 things about Ozzie Albies' grand slam". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  37. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 26, 2018). "Albies seeing ya! Ozzie calls his shot". MLB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  38. ^ Hill, Jordan D. (July 9, 2018). "The Braves have the most players on the NL All-Star team. See who made the squad". Ledger Enquirer. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  39. ^ Dillard, Zach (July 8, 2018). "Four Braves players make National League All-Star roster". Fox Sports. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  40. ^ Wilborn, Nubyjas (July 9, 2018). "4 Braves picked for All-Star Game". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  41. ^ "Albies hits 2 HRs, drives in 4, as Braves top Blue Jays 9-5". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 11, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  42. ^ a b c "Ozzie Albies Stats". Baseball-Reference.com.
  43. ^ Tucker, Tim (April 11, 2019). "Braves agree to seven-year, $35 million deal with Ozzie Albies". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  44. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 11, 2019). "Braves lock up Albies through 2025". MLB.com. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  45. ^ "Braves, 2B Albies agree to 7-year, $35M deal". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  46. ^ a b "Ozzie Albies Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  47. ^ "Mike Trout, Braves trio among 2019 Silver Slugger Award winners". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  48. ^ Langs, Sarah (November 7, 2019). "Trio of Braves win first career Silver Sluggers". MLB.com. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  49. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2019 » Second Basemen » Fielding Statistics". Fangraphs.com. 2019-01-01. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  50. ^ Bright, Sterling (June 3, 2021). "Keep it 500: Dansby swats HR for milestone". MLB.com. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  51. ^ Bowman, Mark (July 4, 2021). "Albies joins Acuña, Freeman on ASG roster". MLB.com. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  52. ^ Randhawa, Manny (September 4, 2021). "Braves infield makes history on Albies' HR". MLB.com. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  53. ^ Bowman, Mark (September 23, 2021). "Albies rips homer to join 30-HR, 100-RBI club". MLB.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  54. ^ "Fried, Riley power Braves past Phils; magic number down to 1". Associated Press. September 30, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  55. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2021 » Batters » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". www.fangraphs.com.
  56. ^ "Atlanta Braves win 2021 World Series". MLB. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  57. ^ Harrigan, Thomas (November 11, 2021). "'21 Silver Slugger Award winners announced". MLB.com. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  58. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 19, 2021). "Albies wins 2021 Heart and Hustle Award". MLB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  59. ^ Trezza, Joe (June 13, 2022). "Albies exits game with fractured left foot". MLB.com. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  60. ^ "Surging Atlanta Braves lose star second baseman Ozzie Albies with fractured left foot in fifth inning". ESPN.com. June 13, 2022. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  61. ^ Toscano, Justin (June 15, 2022). "Ozzie Albies of the Braves undergoes successful surgery for foot fracture". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  62. ^ Burns, Gabriel (September 16, 2022). "Ozzie Albies returns for Braves months after foot fracture". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  63. ^ Torres, Maria (September 16, 2022). "Braves enjoy Ozzie Albies' return, 'watching Ozzie's helmet fly off'". Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  64. ^ "Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies fractures right pinky finger day after coming off IL". ESPN.com. September 17, 2022. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  65. ^ Bowman, Mark (September 18, 2022). "Albies avoids surgery, out for regular season". Retrieved September 18, 2022.