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Player Profile #194: Zack Cozart | SS | CIN

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.

194_zack_cozart

At a Glance

  • Strengths: none
  • Neutral: R, HR, RBI, SB, BA
  • Weaknesses: OBP, SLG

Player Comparisons

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.

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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

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