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Thread: Enough of Zach Cozart?

  1. #91
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Looks to me like we are getting at the real questions with Cozart. He's at least solid defensively and that is so critical at SS that it's not to be lost simply for an offensive upgrade, were one available. His OBP is below average for the position and not likely to get better. When it comes to OPS, he has been able to compensate for the low OBP with a bit higher SLG than one would expect from the slick fielding SS variety. But to some of us he has looked even less disciplined at the plate so far this year than previously and there is serious worry that he is not going to be able to maintain his previous OPS levels. So let's switch the focus from OBP to OPS in thinking about some number below which the FO simply has to make a move. And some time frame for Zack to get there. What is it? .650, .625, .600, .575?

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Cozart is an average SS. He could be upgraded, he could be downgraded. He's a hold, not a buy or sell, IMO, especially at the price. Starting SS are very hard to find.

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    I mean, are people expecting Cozart to continue to hit .140 all year? For all the times we've heard he is what he is, he's not going to get much better, he's also not going to turn into the worst hitter in baseball history at age 28 or whatever he is.

    He's fine. He's not good but there are worse SS's out there and he's cheap.
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    But the test has to be very strict.
    This is were we really disagree.

    The test has to be very flexible.

    When judging a player you need to consider all his attributes. Suggesting that he needs to meet an arbitrary OBA number of .300 (with few exceptions allowed) is ignoring the obvious.

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    This is were we really disagree.

    The test has to be very flexible.

    When judging a player you need to consider all his attributes. Suggesting that he needs to meet an arbitrary OBA number of .300 (with few exceptions allowed) is ignoring the obvious.
    I agree here. if the average SS last year was at .308, why would the minimally acceptable OBP be so close to that amount.

    If we can agree that Cozart at least has above average fielding and power for a short stop, why would it be so awful if his OBP was just below that of an average SS?
    Last edited by Hoosier Red; 04-21-2014 at 11:13 AM.
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Last year, the Reds SS ranked 27th out of 30 for SS On Base % at .280. (This is mainly Cozart's doing, but also includes Cesar Izturis' paltry .259 in 63 PA which didn't help.)

    But the difference between 27th and 8th was about 50 points. The Diamonbacks were at .331 and finished 8th. The Reds were almost 100 pts behind Colorado who not surprisingly led the league at .375.

    Now it's possible that each and every team ahead of the Reds' SS was also a superior defender and had enough pop to put up 12 homers. When comparing Cozart to the rest of the league's team SS production, his .664 OPS would have ranked 17th. Just behind the Giants .675 and ahead of the Phillies .661.
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    I agree the test has to be flexible. But there has to be some number for OPS below which a move simply has to be made. What is it for Zack? And how long is long enough to allow him to return to his norms or conclude that he's not going to do that (or if you want to put that differently, that he's now in the process of moving his norm downward)? Worth asking, too, is whether we are generally more willing to cut Zack slack because we know there's nobody in the system even remotely close--or even having the potential--to replace him. In other words, getting somebody else is going to require us to give something up. Personally, I think as long as he can keep his OPS above .650, we can live with him. But his start this season makes me concerned he's not going to be able to get to that number. And I hope WJ is very actively working the phones to see what alternatives are available--not that we need to do that right this moment but just to see what's possible.

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I agree the test has to be flexible. But there has to be some number for OPS below which a move simply has to be made. What is it for Zack? And how long is long enough to allow him to return to his norms or conclude that he's not going to do that (or if you want to put that differently, that he's now in the process of moving his norm downward)? Worth asking, too, is whether we are generally more willing to cut Zack slack because we know there's nobody in the system even remotely close--or even having the potential--to replace him. In other words, getting somebody else is going to require us to give something up. Personally, I think as long as he can keep his OPS above .650, we can live with him. But his start this season makes me concerned he's not going to be able to get to that number. And I hope WJ is very actively working the phones to see what alternatives are available--not that we need to do that right this moment but just to see what's possible.
    I generally agree, although I hesitate to use OPS which is a combo stat. To me, a .650 or .675 OPS only works if the OBP part is acceptable.

    But more to the point, I strongly agree that there has to be a minimum standard. Whatever metric one finds most important.

    Some teams seem to realize this. Last year, after Simmons, for NL SSs, Clint Barmes and Peter Kozma were second and third best in UZR rating. Both ahead of Cozart.

    Yet, despite that defense, neither Barmes nor Kozma is currently an everyday starting player.

    At least by the UZR test, both of these guys are superb defenders. Both higher UZR players than Cozart in 2013. Yet this was not a sufficient reason for the Bucs and Cards to give them a starting position.

    Another example is Gregorius. Very good fielding shortstop, yet the DBacks decided that his defense wasn't enough to keep him in the major leagues to start the season. His OPS was higher than Cozart's last year, yet he's played in two major league games so far this year.

    Very good defenders at SS aren't really that rare. As I've said, the good field no hit shortstop is a common player type. What teams are looking for are very good defensive shortstops with something of an all around game. Without major offensive deficiencies.
    Last edited by Kc61; 04-21-2014 at 01:54 PM.

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I generally agree, although I hesitate to use OPS which is a combo stat. To me, a .650 or .675 OPS only works if the OBP part is acceptable.

    But more to the point, I strongly agree that there has to be a minimum standard. Whatever metric one finds most important.

    Some teams seem to realize this. Last year, after Simmons, for NL SSs, Clint Barmes and Peter Kozma were second and third best in UZR rating. Both ahead of Cozart.

    Yet, despite that defense, neither Barmes nor Kozma is currently an everyday starting player.

    At least by the UZR test, both of these guys are superb defenders. Both higher UZR players than Cozart in 2013. Yet this was not a sufficient reason for the Bucs and Cards to give them a starting position.

    Another example is Gregorius. Very good fielding shortstop, yet the DBacks decided that his defense wasn't enough to keep him in the major leagues to start the season. His OPS was higher than Cozart's last year, yet he's played in two major league games so far this year.

    Very good defenders at SS aren't really that rare. As I've said, the good field no hit shortstop is a common player type. What teams are looking for are very good defensive shortstops with something of an all around game. Without major offensive deficiencies.
    Barmes and Kozma had nearly identical UZR's to Cozart, but had OPS 100 points lower than him. There does seem to be a cutoff line where poor offense doesn't justify great defense. If Kozma and Barmes were below that line, than Cozart was 100 points above it.
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Barmes and Kozma had nearly identical UZR's to Cozart, but had OPS 100 points lower than him. There does seem to be a cutoff line where poor offense doesn't justify great defense. If Kozma and Barmes were below that line, than Cozart was 100 points above it.
    I really have no idea how the conclusion is drawn that Cozart is 100 OPS points above the acceptable line for shortstops. But I'll take your word for it.

    I do know that Cozart had one of the very worst OBPs in Major League Baseball for starting non-pitchers last year. He did the previous year too. Low OBP means lots of outs.

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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I generally agree, although I hesitate to use OPS which is a combo stat. To me, a .650 or .675 OPS only works if the OBP part is acceptable.

    But more to the point, I strongly agree that there has to be a minimum standard. Whatever metric one finds most important.

    Some teams seem to realize this. Last year, after Simmons, for NL SSs, Clint Barmes and Peter Kozma were second and third best in UZR rating. Both ahead of Cozart.

    Yet, despite that defense, neither Barmes nor Kozma is currently an everyday starting player.

    At least by the UZR test, both of these guys are superb defenders. Both higher UZR players than Cozart in 2013. Yet this was not a sufficient reason for the Bucs and Cards to give them a starting position.

    Another example is Gregorius. Very good fielding shortstop, yet the DBacks decided that his defense wasn't enough to keep him in the major leagues to start the season. His OPS was higher than Cozart's last year, yet he's played in two major league games so far this year.

    Very good defenders at SS aren't really that rare. As I've said, the good field no hit shortstop is a common player type. What teams are looking for are very good defensive shortstops with something of an all around game. Without major offensive deficiencies.
    UZR over a small sample size (less than 2 years) can be unreliable in assessing defensive prowess. Kozma in particular had below average range as demonstrated by years of watching him play in the majors and minor leagues. A player doesn't suddenly develpo range.

  21. #102
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I agree the test has to be flexible. But there has to be some number for OPS below which a move simply has to be made. What is it for Zack? And how long is long enough to allow him to return to his norms or conclude that he's not going to do that (or if you want to put that differently, that he's now in the process of moving his norm downward)? Worth asking, too, is whether we are generally more willing to cut Zack slack because we know there's nobody in the system even remotely close--or even having the potential--to replace him. In other words, getting somebody else is going to require us to give something up. Personally, I think as long as he can keep his OPS above .650, we can live with him. But his start this season makes me concerned he's not going to be able to get to that number. And I hope WJ is very actively working the phones to see what alternatives are available--not that we need to do that right this moment but just to see what's possible.
    I agree with this. My hope is that Walt is actively looking to add some solid upside depth for the farm. Not aging vets. A solid AA or AAA ss.
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  22. #103
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by bullseye View Post
    Explain to me how you can do worse than a .150 hitting shortstop?
    Cozart is a career .248 hitter. Career 669 OPS.
    Sure it would be nice for him to OPS 700 as someone else suggested, but he's not horrible.
    Sure beats paying big bucks for someone like Alex Gonzales or having a guy like Keppinger that can't field the position.
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  24. #104
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I really have no idea how the conclusion is drawn that Cozart is 100 OPS points above the acceptable line for shortstops. But I'll take your word for it.

    I do know that Cozart had one of the very worst OBPs in Major League Baseball for starting non-pitchers last year. He did the previous year too. Low OBP means lots of outs.
    Just using your examples of Kozma and Barmes. If they are where the line is, Cozart is 100 OPS points above it. Personally, I think it's more complicated than that.

    Btw, Cozart was never expected to be a long term answer to SS for the Reds. He's just the result of them trading DiDi to get Choo.
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  25. #105
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    Re: Enough of Zach Cozart?

    Cozart may not have been expected to be a long term answer but, given what we have in the minors, it certainly looks like that's what he is, for better or worse. You have to go all the way to single A Dayton to find even a hypothetical wish-fulfillment replacement for him in our system.


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