Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
Hanigan has a career OBP of .362 in the 8th spot and a .396 OBP in the 7th spot. So it doesn't look like batting 8th causes pitchers to to be more likely to pitch around Hanigan. His walk rate is not increased when he bats 8th.
Cozart has a woeful career .290 OBP. Hitting Cozart in front of Hanigan makes it a lot less likely that Hanigan even gets to bat, much less the pitcher to turn the lineup over.
While I don't think it's an earth-shattering difference either way, I think Cozart's slugging ability (more extra base hits) makes him the better choice for the 7th spot.
Cozart's SA was .399 last season(2B-3B-HR of 33-4-15 in 561 AB's), compared to Hanny's .338 (2B-3B-HR of 14-0-2 in 317 AB's). That is a significant differance in run producing ability for the 7 spot, which is still a run production (RBI) spot IMO in a good lineup and in a good hitter's park.
Also, as other posters have correctly pointed out IMO, Hanny has proven he can handle the sometimes tough 8th spot, whereas Cozart's overall production might suffer a lot hitting in front of the pitcher.