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Thread: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

  1. #16
    Member smixsell's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I don't believe it's impossible for a player, even at Cozart's ripe age, to flatten out his swing. Hopefully he's working on this and, also, drawing more walks.
    I agree.

    In fact, I predict that Cozart WILL improve substantially as a hitter at some point. Maybe not this year, but within the next 3-5 years.

    I think he will follow in the footsteps of Ozzie Smith and make a major improvement in his hitting performance at some point.

    If memory serves it is not that uncommon for a slick fielding SS who has shown to possess at least some of the tools at the plate to improve their hitting significantly with a few years experience with ML pitching. (ie Ozzie S, Barry L, and Davey C)

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  3. #17
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I agree.

    In fact, I predict that Cozart WILL improve substantially as a hitter at some point. Maybe not this year, but within the next 3-5 years.

    I think he will follow in the footsteps of Ozzie Smith and make a major improvement in his hitting performance at some point.

    If memory serves it is not that uncommon for a slick fielding SS who has shown to possess at least some of the tools at the plate to improve their hitting significantly with a few years experience with ML pitching. (ie Ozzie S, Barry L, and Davey C)
    Ozzie Smith - first full season at age 23
    Barry Larkin - first full season at age 23
    Dave Concepcion - first full season at age 22
    Zack Cozart - first full season at age 26

    One of those guys isn't like the others. Also, those other guys also walked nearly as much or more than they struck out.

  4. #18
    Arbiter of Good Taste OGB's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Low BABIP because he hits a ton of pop ups. Always has. That is the reason, specifically, that two scouts told me would keep him from hitting for an average at the MLB level.
    Doug, I love reading your perspctive on this forum. You're an incredibly knowledgeable guy. You just got completely proven wrong on the K rate thing. The least you could do is own that.
    I may not be fast, but I sure am slow.

  5. #19
    Member joshua's Avatar
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    I remember Cozart coming out of the gate with a bang last year. He had a pretty miserable May and July that made his numbers plumme if I recall correctly. He should be expected to hit better than .240 though. If he gets that OBP above .310 that would be adequate in my book. He was absolutely misplaced at the top of the order early last season so hopefully batting lower will help him out.

  6. #20
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by OGB View Post
    Doug, I love reading your perspctive on this forum. You're an incredibly knowledgeable guy. You just got completely proven wrong on the K rate thing. The least you could do is own that.
    I must've had math wrong somewhere, because non-pitchers struck out 19.2% of the time. So basicaly, Cozart was average when it comes to strikeouts. Either way, he isn't a guy who "makes a lot of contact".

  7. #21
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Ozzie Smith - first full season at age 23
    Barry Larkin - first full season at age 23
    Dave Concepcion - first full season at age 22
    Zack Cozart - first full season at age 26

    One of those guys isn't like the others. Also, those other guys also walked nearly as much or more than they struck out.
    I guess I'll respectfully disagree. Cozart in the minors had two very poor OBP years. He also had .330, .360, and .357 OBP years. I think he can repeat that in the majors, at minimum the .330 range.

    On the walks, Fangraphs says (plate discipline chart) that Cozart swung last year at pitches out of the zone 28.9% of the time. That's not a bad percentage at all, many Reds regulars swung at "bad" pitches more often.

    I think Cozart's problem with walks is his high contact rate. He probably doesn't go deep in the count too much because he hits what he swings at. For example, he made contact on 91.5% of swings at pitches in the zone, a high rate.

    So I see good signs with this guy. I know he's not a very young player any more, but I think there are some indications that he CAN do better at the plate. Whether he will, time will tell.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-23-2013 at 02:33 PM.

  8. #22
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I guess I'll respectfully disagree. Cozart in the minors had two very poor OBP years. He also had .330, .360, and .357 OBP years. I think he can repeat that in the majors, at minimum the .330 range.

    On the walks, Fangraphs says (plate discipline chart) that Cozart swung last year at pitches out of the zone 28.9% of the time. That's not a bad percentage at all, many Reds regulars swung at "bad" pitches more often.

    I think Cozart's problem with walks is his high contact rate. He probably doesn't go deep in the count too much because he hits what he swings at. For example, he made contact on 91% of swings at pitches in the zone, a high rate.

    So I see signs with this guy. I know he's not a very young player any more, but I think there are some indications that he CAN do better at the plate. Whether he will, time will tell.
    I hope you are right. I just don't see it. I think Cozart is a hitter you can learn to live with, but not a good one by any stretch.

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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    For all you guys predicting continuous improvement for Cozart as he gains more experience and settles in as a major leaguer, I would like to point you to the other side of the coin ..... Drew Stubbs.

    Not all players get better as the gain experience. Some (like Stubbs) actually get worse. I don't think we have a whole lot of data that points one way or the other in regards to Cozart. His MLB numbers as a rookie look about like what you would expect them to when you compare them to his minor league results.

    I suspect that the Cozart we got in 2012 is for the most part the same guy we will get for the next five years. Guys who arrive in the majors at 25+ years old rarely make major improvements in their game. They usually put together a three-to-five year run of solid results and then fall off a cliff once they hit the wrong side of 30. I see no reason to believe Cozart will be any different.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 02-23-2013 at 02:52 PM.

  11. #24
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    I like Cozart, I even think he's a bit underrated. As a rookie (albeit 26 years old), he had 52 extra-base hits (33 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR) and played great defense, and had an overall solid 2.7 WAR. I'll take that out of my starting shortstop. It wouldn't surprise me if he raises his OBP to the .310 area and posts a few .740ish OPS seasons.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  12. #25
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    I believe the problem Cozart has and probably always will is pitch selection, he doesn't really have much selectivity. Sure he doesn't swing at pitches out of the zone a ton which is a good thing but not all pitches inside the zone are created equal, especially if your a guy who doesn't hit to all fields. If your a pull hitter but are ok with swinging at the pitch on the lower outside corner your gonna hit alot of pop ups. If he is gonna improve he needs to either get more selective (and frankly everyone should be pre 2 strikes) or become more balanced with the fields he hits to. If he could manage both he'd be one of if not the best hitting SS in baseball. Unfortunately the odds are against him doing either with much degree so he's largely gonna be what he has been and in this league if you aren't going forward your probably going backwards. I suspect he will be a lesser version of himself in the future as he sees less and less fastballs middle in.

    I ain't saying he can't improve because I think anyone is capable but it just doesn't happen very often.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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  13. #26
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    I'm of the mind that Cozart is around the 15th best shortstop on the planet, so I'll be happy to have him in the lineup on the cheap for the next few years. My opinion may change when his salary goes up.

  14. #27
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I like Cozart, I even think he's a bit underrated. As a rookie (albeit 26 years old), he had 52 extra-base hits (33 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR) and played great defense, and had an overall solid 2.7 WAR. I'll take that out of my starting shortstop. It wouldn't surprise me if he raises his OBP to the .310 area and posts a few .740ish OPS seasons.
    That wouldn't surprise me either.

    It also wouldn't surprise me if his OPS fluctuates between 650 and 750 for the next five years (averaging out around 700) before cratering once he hits his free agent years.

  15. #28
    Member smixsell's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Ozzie Smith - first full season at age 23
    Barry Larkin - first full season at age 23
    Dave Concepcion - first full season at age 22
    Zack Cozart - first full season at age 26

    One of those guys isn't like the others. Also, those other guys also walked nearly as much or more than they struck out.
    I don't think the age of the rookie season matters much at all.

    My pretty good memory says that most slick fielding SS who have shown at least SOMETHING at the plate early ( e.g. Cozart set or came very close to the ALL TIME doubles before the all star break mark for ookie SS) have improved substantially after getting used to ML pitching.

    I would be very surprised if Cozart isn't a much better hitter than he showed last year (even though he was pretty good already IMO) within 3 years.

  16. #29
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    I've analyzed his hitting. He can't.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  17. #30
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing Cozart's hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I don't think the age of the rookie season matters much at all.

    My pretty good memory says that most slick fielding SS who have shown at least SOMETHING at the plate early ( e.g. Cozart set or came very close to the ALL TIME doubles before the all star break mark for ookie SS) have improved substantially after getting used to ML pitching.

    I would be very surprised if Cozart isn't a much better hitter than he showed last year (even though he was pretty good already IMO) within 3 years.
    Age of your rookie season has a lot to do with future improvements. Most rookies AREN'T 26 years old. So comparing Cozart to almost any set of other players as rookies and expecting improvements like they had, is not a good idea. Historically, players work on a bell curve. The peak is at 27-28. Cozart is already there, right now, heading into his second season. He will turn 28 in August.

    Guys don't generally take big steps forward at this age in their careers. They are generally who they are going to be at this point. Yes, there are outliers. But they don't happen often and counting on someone to be that guy is a poor bet.

    Cozart posted a 79 OPS+ last year. That isn't pretty good. That is downright poor.


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