Ozuna in midst of first slump as big leaguer

Ozuna in midst of first slump as big leaguer

Ozuna in midst of first slump as big leaguer

MIAMI -- When Giancarlo Stanton went on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain on April 30, Marcell Ozuna stepped in and shined.

The rookie batted .331 with 17 RBIs and 18 runs scored in his first 36 games at the Major League level.

Ozuna also recorded five outfield assists in right, tying for the third-best mark in the Majors among right fielders. He was so impressive, he was moved to center field and has remained in the cleanup spot since Stanton returned to Miami on June 10.

However, Ozuna has struggled since Stanton rejoined the club.

The 22-year-old was just 1-for-15 with one run over his last five games entering Sunday, seeing his batting average dip to .306.

"He's been in a little bit of a rough patch, probably the first rough patch he's had in the big leagues," manager Mike Redmond said. "But he's going to be fine. He's still confident. He believes in himself. We believe in him. He's just got to go out there and continue to stick with his approach."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter