The Atlanta Braves’ Marcell Ozuna made history on Friday, becoming the first player from the National League to win the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.
The 30-year-old Ozuna, traditionally an outfielder, started 21 games in the outfield and 39 games as the designated hitter, which was introduced into the NL for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Ozuna, whom the Braves signed to a one-year contract in January, smashed 18 home runs while slashing .338/.431/.636 in 60 games. Pro-rated over a full season, Ozuna would have finished with 48 home runs and 151 RBIs. His previous career highs in homers and RBIs prior to 2020 was 37 and 124, respectively, each in 2017 while with the Miami Marlins.
He played in the outfield in 15 of Atlanta’s first 32 games but then settled into his role as the DH.
Ozuna is a free agent heading into the 2020-21 season. MLB reportedly will not allow the NL to use the DH next season.