It appears another National League contending club is giving the starting shortstop keys to a relatively unproven youngster. As of now, Zack Cozart is slated to be at short on opening day for the Cincinnati Reds.
In 2007, the Reds drafted Cozart in the second round (they also drafted Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco – what a haul).
While he didn’t exactly rocket through A ball (he hit just .267/.317/.419 across two years), he found himself at AA in 2009 as a 23 year-old. He didn’t hit for a good average (.262), but walked 67 times (against 87 Ks) and posted a sublime .360 OBP.
He earned a promotion to AAA in 2010 and struggled a bit, hitting .255/.310/.416. That said, he hit 17 HRs and stole 30 bases (against just four caught stealings). He started 2011 at AAA, but was on the 40-man roster. At 25, Cozart was ready to show that the minors were a kids’ game. He hit .310/.357/.467 with seven HRs and nine SBs in just 77 games.
With the Reds SS sucking big ones, Cozart got the call. I...