Ozuna, one of Miami's four All-Star selections, received the news from the Marlins' front office just minutes before the team finished pregame batting practice on Saturday. One of the first to congratulate Ozuna was Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds, who has been his mentor this season.
"He's happy," Ozuna said. "He passed by me and said, 'Oh, you're a starter!'"
One key reason for Ozuna's turnaround season after an up-and-down 2015 has been patience. Laying off bad pitches has led to a huge first half, as the 25-year-old carried a .307 batting average, 17 home runs and 47 RBIs into Saturday's game against the Reds.
"You have to be patient," he said. "You have to concentrate on what you do. On deck, you have to concentrate. Watch the pitcher, what he's throwing, what he does."
On Tuesday, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.