Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 projections: Zack Cozart

All eyes have been trained on Cozart this spring

No offense to the players who have come before him in recent years, but it's been awhile since the franchise has boasted a solid, all-around shortstop. And many around Cincinnati are hoping that rookie Zack Cozart can be that guy.

The 26-year old certainly showed promise after debuting with the Reds last July. Cozart batted .324 (12-37) with 2 HR and 3 RBIs before a shoulder injury derailed the rest of his 2011 campaign. But luckily for him, he did enough in the 11 games that he did appear in to earn the starting nod entering 2012. Management is behind him and the fans believe in him, however, is he capable of living up to the expectations that have been set before him?

To help give us a better idea of whether or not he can, I've compiled projections from three various sources. They are as follows:

RC: rotochamp.com
ZiPS: baseballthinkfactory.org
ESPN: espn.com

And here are their respective projections for the Ole Miss alum:

RC: .283/.317/.439, 11 HR, 46 RBIs, 11 SB, 53 RS
ZiPS: .253/.304/.398, 13 HR, 52 RBIs, 76 RS, 28 2B
ESPN: .244/.290/.365, 9 HR, 38 RBIs, 57 RS, 13 SB
2011 (AAA/77 GP): .310/.357/.467, 7 HR, 32 RBIs, 26 2B

Perhaps I'm being too optimistic, but I really believe Cozart is capable of surpassing all three of these projections....IF he can stay healthy. The organization has made it very clear that they want him to play everyday, so he'll get the at-bats necessary to rack up the numbers, and he isn't likely to get ousted from the lineup by the defensive-minded Paul Janish either. Just for the record, the last Red to win National League Rookie of the Year honors was Scott Williamson in 1999. Just saying.

What do YOU expect out of Cozart this season?

And in case you missed it...

You can view past player projections by clicking on the following links:
Jay Bruce
Joey Votto
Brandon Phillips
Johnny Cueto
Ryan Madson
Mat Latos
Bronson Arroyo
Homer Bailey
Mike Leake
Scott Rolen
Drew Stubbs
Chris Heisey
Ryan Ludwick
Sean Marshall
Aroldis Chapman

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