The 2021 season was something of a roller coaster for Ozzie Albies, but the end result was a fun ride.

Albies finished the year with a career-high 30 home runs, 106 RBIs and 20 stolen bases on the way to a second All-Star selection and second Silver Slugger award. He led all second basemen in doubles with 40 and triples with 7. At the same time, though, Ozzie carded a career-high in strikeouts at 128, a career low in batting average at .259, and had OBP (.310) and OPS (.799) numbers that were below his career averages.

None of that is terrible, but perhaps it’s just a reminder that despite having started about 550 games at the major-league level, Ozzie hasn’t even turned 25 years old yet. As good as he’s been, he’s likely still developing.

This season, the main thing holding Albies back from a truly monster season was inconsistency at the plate. He peaked in June with an OPS of .974 for the month, which included 10 doubles, 2 triples and 6 home runs in 112 ABs. He followed that up, though, with an OPS of just .684 in July.

Ozzie bounced back some in August and then closed strong with an .805 OPS in the season’s final month, but then struggled at the plate in the playoffs. Even then, he found ways to contribute. Despite a postseason OPS of .620 during the Braves’ world championship effort, which eventually saw him dropped from the third spot in the lineup to the seventh, Albies score 12 runs in the team’s 16 playoff games. He scored four times in the World Series, including two runs in the 7-0 Game 6 clincher.

Without going game-by-game, it’s easy to see where Albies’ switch-hitting splits are to blame for some of this inconsistency. Both in 2021 and for his career as a whole, Albies’ left-handed OPS is about 200 points below his right-handed OPS. All other factors aside, if Ozzie faces a righty-heavy stretch, he’s not going to be as productive. He’s also incredibly aggressive at the plate, walking just 47 times in 2021. That helps deepen any ruts he gets into, but it also adds fuel to his hot streaks.

All in all, the excitement Ozzie brought to the lineup was a big part of the Braves’ success in 2021, and the best part is that we can expect even better things in 2022. His salary increases slightly to $5 million, but that’s still an incredible deal for a player capable of 3.4 WAR or more each and every season. And if he ever does find consistency from both sides of the plate, the sky is the limit.