Originally Posted by dougdirt
Defense is similar and one is a much better hitter both now and in the future.... how are you not sure that Cozart isn't better than Rojas?
Well, you'll note, first off, that I didn't make that statement with any degree of conviction. But it was predicated on a few things. One, I get the impression that Rojas's defense is ever-so-slightly better, although that's apparently debatable and maybe negligible. But a slim edge to Rojas. Cozart is reputed to be a better hitter, but Rojas definitely made a push in that direction this year.
Their closest comparison is Rojas's 2009 season in Dayton at age 20 (barely), and Cozart's partial 2007 season in Dayton at age 21 (22 in August). Rojas's OPS was .665, Cozart's (201 PA) was .619. Of course, Cozart improved dramatically (.787) when he repeated Dayton in '08, and fared well in Carolina this year (.758). Rojas, meanwhile, had never hit a lick before this season. But he was very young and very thin (listed now at 160). Most of his production this year came in the latter part of the season. For the last three months or so, he was a pretty darn good hitter. (Among other encouraging things, he rarely struck out.) That stark improvement seems consistent with 1) his physical maturation, and 2) his peerless work ethic, as noted by redsof72 in another thread.
Bottom line: Rojas is 3.5 years younger, a slightly better fielder (arguably), improving faster, and dedicated to the game (not that Cozart isn't). I place a lot of emphasis on a player's learning curve, and for me, Rojas's is promising enough to make it a contest.