I told you to add Zack Cozart just six games into his major league career back in 2011. He got hurt five games later. I told you to target him in your draft last season because he’d surely hit for a good average in a cushy second spot in the Cincinnati lineup. He finished the year ranked 437th overall. This year we’re hedging our bets a bit on Cozart, but there are still plenty of reasons to keep an eye on the Reds’ starting shortstop. Maybe not a close eye, mind you, but definitely an eye.
At a Glance
- Strengths: none
- Neutral: R, HR, RBI, SB, BA
- Weaknesses: OBP, SLG
- Best-case scenario: Alexei Ramirez (CHW)
- Likely scenario: Gordon Beckham (CHW), Dustin Ackley (SEA), Ryan Roberts (TB)
- Worst-case scenario: Daniel Descalso (STL)
Zack Cozart 2013 Fantasy Projection
Right now Cozart is slated to bat eighth — in front of the pitcher — for Cincinnati. That’s not good. He also doesn’t walk very much, and his strikeout rate is a few percentage points higher than I’d like. All of that puts a modest cap on Cozart’s fantasy potential for 2013, but a strong showing in the early going could buy him some goodwill in Cincinnati. Unfortunately that might not amount to much with the Reds’ acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo because now they’re set at the top of the lineup.
I’ll admit that our projection — 77 R, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 14 SB, .260 BA — may appear optimistic to some, but Cozart has played solid in stretches. Last year he would have put together a rather nice season if you took out his May and July numbers (I’m aware you can’t do that, but I’m looking for a silver lining here!) and his August play was actually very good. It does hurt listing Cozart’s strengths as “none,” but to be fair he does have a lot of neutrals! Just don’t look his way in OBP leagues.