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  1. As fortune would have it, all indications were that Jackson would be the for-now heir to Furcal. Kozma had come for coffee a couple of times and was generally considered a busted prospect – the most famous thing he had done in STL was make a throwing error which Pujols broke his wrist trying to field. Jackson had hit better at AAA, and has a rep as a defensive wiz. Roster issues prevented him from assuming a position immediately, Kozma slid in, and went on a tear. That’s baseball.

    Comment by astrostl — October 10, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

  2. I took a look at Kozma today, detailing his minor league numbers by age. They temper the excitement.

    Comment by — October 10, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  3. One interesting thing with Kozma is how low his BABIP has been in the minor leagues for the past few years. In the majors it’s obviously been astronomical. His minor league numbers could be extremely deflated due to lots of bad ball in play luck.

    Of course, that only puts him at like, the level of Ryan Jackson as a hitter, not the Honus Wagner type performance he’s put up.

    Comment by Sam — October 10, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  4. In the small sample size that is his 2012, Kozma has 30.5% line drive rate (!) in the majors. If only he didn’t K nearly a quarter of the time.

    Comment by Felix — October 10, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  5. What’s wrong with a .250 K rate?

    Comment by — October 11, 2012 @ 12:26 am

  6. If you look at his per game ld/fb/gb rates, the ground balls go up, the flyballs go down, and his line drives look stabilish. I know it takes ~150 ab for those rates to stabilize, but even regressing his number to league average over the next ~70 plate appearances make his line drive rate look elite (and dubious).

    Comment by dtf_in_dtl — October 11, 2012 @ 2:49 am

  7. “What’s wrong with a .250 K rate?”

    It makes it hard to be good.

    Comment by Daniel — October 11, 2012 @ 9:05 am

  8. Interesting.

    Next time please include a plug for your own blog as well.

    Oh wait…

    Comment by chuckb — October 11, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  9. Kozma’s not this good. Though he’s playing well right now, he reminds many of this guy: — a player Cards’ fans loved for a while and thought he had solved a middle infield problem and then fizzled out as quickly as he arrived.

    Hopefully, the Cards’ brass won’t believe their SS situation solved by Kozma’s month in the big leagues because players don’t go from being bad minor league hitters to good major league hitters. If anyone can find one example where this was true, I’d love to see it.

    Comment by chuckb — October 11, 2012 @ 9:40 am

  10. I was really thinking Stubby Clap was the future.

    Comment by bjs2025 — October 11, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  11. Two ps, man. Old-time beer bottles and STDs never went together north of the border!

    Comment by Mike Green — October 11, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  12. I live in Springfield and have talked to local journalists. Kozma was an asshole to most people. I don’t like him. That and if he had just caught the damn ball in Atlanta, none of that fiasco would have happened.

    As a player though, he’s sort of the prototypical Cards rookie. Kind of old to be considered a top prospect (though he was a top draft choice and was seen as a failure here at AA Springfield). However, he does the right stuff and magically gets hot in the playoffs. Freese, Jay, Craig, Kozma, Lynn. All these guys have a similar career path as far as age and ML level productivity. I almost wonder if it’s something the Cards do.

    Kozma: Called up at 23 and 24 for partial seasons
    Craig: partial seasons at 25 and 26, first full season at 27
    Jay: partial at 25, full at 26 and 27
    Freese: partials at 26 and 27, full (minus injuries) at 28 and 29
    Lynn: partial at 24, full at 25

    Obviously, this might just be how most players get called up. It’s just weird to me the amount of productivity that the Cards get from it. My theory is that the Cardinals maximize the value of each player by having their cheapest years be their age 26-29 seasons.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — October 11, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  13. Wait a minute…Freese, Craig, Lynn, and Jay are all above average major league players. They were all, also, quite productive minor league hitters. Kozma has never been a productive minor league hitter so the notion that he might turn into an above average-to-very-good major league hitter along the lines of Craig, Freese, or Jay is pretty unlikely.

    Comment by chuckb — October 11, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  14. Agreed. Those guys he mentions were all very productive minor league hitters, something that Kozma has never really been.

    Comment by TRob — October 11, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  15. Your analysis ignores the fact that Kozmanaut was drafted out of high school, while Craig, Jay, Freese and Lynn were all college players. Kozma had been marinating in the minors for the better part of 6 seasons, while the others took 3 to 4 years to finish the minors. Kozma was on the verge of being left off of the 40 man roster this winter. His performance has bought him another year in the organization, even if it is just a flash in the pan.

    Comment by TRace — October 11, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  16. First, this is the second time I’ve seen it published on fangraphs that Furcal had a torn ulnar ligament. That is not true. He may still get surgery but since the ligament isn’t torn that’s an open question.

    Second, this article fails to mention that it was only by happenstance that Kozma was called up as well. Jackson was the first (and logical) choice to replace Greene and would have been first to replace Furcal as well except that he had been sent down just a couple days before Furcal’s injury and couldn’t be called up again for 10 days. If not for that randon chance, Kozma would never have played in September, if he had been called up at all.

    Comment by stan — October 11, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  17. Right along with “Super” Joe McDonald, Bo Hart and Jason Simontacci. I’ve been thinking this as well. Its great as long as the magic lasts but….

    Comment by stan — October 11, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  18. The Cards GM has admitted that Kozma was almost designated for assignment several times durint THIS season – not just left off the 40 man roster over the winter.

    That being said, he was a first round draft choice, so there could be some ‘hidden talent’ that he’s just now figuring out how to use (although I doubt it, but I can hope at least…)

    Comment by KJOK — October 11, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  19. Kozma was considered a failure though. Like they thought the talent was always there.

    My point is all of those guys came up way too late to be considered top prospects, but have all performed well and I think st. Louis does it on purpose so they can pay guys league minimum or thereabouts for their age 25-28ish years.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — October 11, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  20. Like I’ve been saying, living in cardinal nation everyone likes to call these guys “young players”. They really aren’t. They are in what should be their prime. Kozma has always been a guy the organization felt wasn’t realizing the talent that was there.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — October 11, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  21. This is exactly the general consensus. I don’t care that he’s been mediocre forever in the minors. The feeling was that the talent was there. Now he’s playing well as a mid 20s “young player”. Prototypical cards prospect of the past few years. Obviously, miller, martinez, jenkins, Wong, and taveras are legitimate prospects not just guys in their probably prime playing well.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — October 11, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  22. More importantly, you were right. I work in consulting.

    Comment by Jamie — October 11, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

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