Have the Reds finally found their shortstop?
- Zachary Warren Cozart was born on August 12, 1985 in Memphis, TN.
- Cozart played baseball, basketball, and football at Collierville High School in Collierville, TN, which is a suburb of Memphis. Collierville's only other notable resident was Emery Adams who pitched in the Negro Leagues in the 1930s and 40s. The town also saw some action during the Civil War.
- Cozart played baseball for Ole Miss for three seasons from 2005 through 2007. He set school records for a freshman in 2005 with 53 runs and 110 total bases (breaking the previous record of 107 held by Seth Smith, now of the Oakland A's). His season earned him a spot on the Freshman All-SEC team (OleMissSports.com). Cozart played well in 2006 and 2007, earning First Team All-SEC honors in both seasons. In 2006, he even made Baseball America's Third Team All-American squad.
- The Reds drafted Cozart in the second round of the 2007 first-year player draft. He had a slow start with Dayton in 2007, but flashed his power in 2008 with 14 round-trippers and posted a .280/.330/.457 slash line. Cozart moved up to AA Carolina in 2009 where he picked up where he left off in the Gem City. He had a solid, if unspectacular, year with Louisville in 2010. Cozart adjusted in 2011 with what was possibly his best year yet as a professional. His return to form earned him a mid-season call-up to Cincinnati. Unfortunately, after a torrid start to his big league career, Cozart injured his elbow after just 11 games with the Reds, which forced him to miss the rest of the season.
- Entering the 2012 season, Baseball America listed Cozart as the Reds' fifth best prospect and the game's 75th best prospect. In a year filled with standout rookie performances, Cozart was still able to leave his mark. He slashed .246/.288/.399 (83 wRC+), which is pretty good line when it is paired with good defense. Cozart graded out as above-average with the glove according to UZR, DRS, FRAA, and the Fans' Scouting Report. His total performance was worth 2.7 fWAR and 2.4 bWAR.
- June 7, 2007: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 2007 amateur draft. Player signed June 21, 2007.
Cozart is pre-arb eligible, thus the Reds can renew him at any price as long as it's above the major league minimum. He will be arb eligible in 2015 at the earliest.
Data courtesy Baseball-Reference.com.
Ratings via the Baseball Cube:
Cozart hits pretty well for a shortstop because of his nice pop. If he could work some more walks, then he could be one of the best shortstops in the National League. As it is, he is in the top half of NL shortstops due to his defensive ability.
Fans Scouting Report ratings (via Fangraphs):
As I said above, Cozart can pick it.
Projections via Fangraphs:
I think we will see more of the same from Cozart. His BABIP was on the low side last season, so one hopes a few more dying quails find grass for him this year.
PITCHf/x Hitter Profile:
Yes, I think the Reds have found their shortstop.