The shortstop gets his donkey. Finally, in his 6th full season in the league, Zack Cozart has made the National League All-Star team. This shouldn’t come as a surprise among Reds fans, as he is off to the best start of his career and ranks 1st among NL shortstops in bWAR at 3.0. Although he spent the last couple of weeks on the Disabled List, he was able to edge out Corey Seager in the fan vote and ultimately be named the starter at shortstop. So congrats, Zack, and good luck naming that donkey.
Congratulations to Zack Cozart on being voted the NL starting shortstop for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game! #CozartGetsADonkey pic.twitter.com/h0pyGLz6RU— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 2, 2017
Cozart’s offensive surge this season has been a joy to watch. He had hot starts in 2015 and 2016, but a devastating knee injury in 2015 and lingering effects from that same injury slowed down his good start in 2016. 2017 has been a different story, as he has had by-far his most successful offensive season. He comes into the last week of the first half slashing .323/.405/.561 with 9 home runs, 33 RBI, and is 5 walks away from matching his career-high for a season (37).
He will be joined by fellow teammate and campaign manager Joey Votto, who made the team as a reserve. Votto is putting up elite numbers once again, hitting .315/.428/.622 with his highest first-half dinger total in his career (23) to go along with 57 RBI and the highest OPS in the NL at 1.051. This will be Votto’s 5th appearance in the All-Star game and his first since 2013. It remains to be seen if any other Reds, such as Raisel Iglesias, will join these two in Miami, as these rosters tend to undergo quite a few changes leading up to the game. Until then, congrats to Zack and Joey, enjoy the experience and soak up that South Beach sun.