Zack Cozart | SS, Reds | 4% Owned (Y!) | 4% Owned (ESPN)
Prior to hyperextending his elbow during Saturday’s game against the Braves, Cincinnati Reds’ shortstop Zack Cozart was providing his ball club with great production in an area of need. Initial x-rays of Cozart’s arm came back negative, and while we don’t have a definitive time table for a return, his injury was much less serious than it could have been.
Cozart put up dynamite counting stats in a full year of Triple-A ball last season for the Reds, but his .255 batting average is what likely led to Cincinnati deciding to wait on calling him up. They probably shouldn’t have waited, as his average came from a sub-.290 BABIP, but nevertheless, his AAA encore was a success and he’s playing with the big boys now.
His overall profile is one of speed and a little bit of pop, which he displayed by hitting seventeen bombs in AAA last year and another seven this year. Odds are he won’t be hitting twenty homers in the big leagues anytime soon, but with his home ballpark, it’s entirely possible he hits twelve-to-fifteen next season. When you consider that Cozart could hit .275 with twenty or more steals next season, those home runs sure will do the trick.
Cozart is a must-add in deep redraft or slightly deep keeper leagues if he’s healthy, and even though Cozart’s left elbow landed him on the disabled list, he’s still probably worth stashing in deep leagues. Sure, that means you have to drop someone to pick him up and move him your DL, but it’s worth the risk in a lot of cases if you don’t have an established shortstop you can feel comfortable with.