Zack Cozart
Zack Cozart
35-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Cozart's season never really got off the ground, as he was moved to the injured list at the end of May and he ultimately underwent surgery on his shoulder in mid-June after failing to make progress in his recovery. He played in just 38 games, struggling to a .124/.178/.144 slash line with four runs scored and seven RBI. Since 2018, he's appeared in 96 games, hitting .190 with five homers, 25 RBI and 58 strikeouts over 321 at-bats, a disappointing showing to say the least. With the Angels looking to shed money in an effort to make waves in free agency, they attached their 2019 first-round pick (Will Wilson) to get the Giants to take on the final year and $12.7 million left on Cozart's contract -- an unapologetic salary dump. Perhaps the Giants won't pay Cozart to go away, but they also don't have any incentive to give him playing time amid a rebuild. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $38 million contract with the Angels in December of 2017. Traded to the Giants in December of 2019.
Released by Giants
3BFree Agent  
Shoulder
January 15, 2020
Cozart (shoulder) was released by the Giants on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
It appeared all along that the Giants' acquisition of Cozart from the Angels in December, which also netted them prospect Will Wilson, was nothing more than a salary dump by the Angels, and Cozart's release confirms that. With Cozart now 34 years old and coming off two seasons of major injury trouble, he'll likely be looking for a minor-league deal with his next team.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+34%
OPS vs RHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .449 111 6 1 9 0 .149 .225 .223
Since 2018vs Right .603 249 27 4 16 0 .207 .277 .326
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .319 50 2 0 3 0 .119 .200 .119
2019vs Right .322 57 2 0 4 0 .127 .158 .164
2018vs Left .554 61 4 1 6 0 .173 .246 .308
2018vs Right .690 192 25 4 12 0 .233 .313 .378
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+64%
OPS on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+117%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+59%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .418 173 11 2 12 0 .132 .214 .204
Since 2018Away .684 187 22 3 13 0 .243 .305 .379
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home .195 48 0 0 3 0 .070 .125 .070
2019Away .424 59 4 0 4 0 .167 .220 .204
2018Home .505 125 11 2 9 0 .156 .248 .257
2018Away .805 128 18 3 9 0 .278 .344 .461
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Zack Cozart
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
195 days ago
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
Collette Calls: 2020 NL West Bold Predictions
324 days ago
Jason Collette looks into his crystal ball for the NL West and sees a whole lot of plate appearances for the Dodgers' A.J. Pollock.
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
October 16, 2019
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
April 21, 2019
Erik Siegrist surveys the free-agent crop in the American League this week and sees signs that Hunter Dozier's performance to date might be for real.
FanDuel MLB: Friday Breakdown
April 5, 2019
Adam Zdroik suggests that Braves hurler Kevin Gausman could be one of the more popular plays against the Marlins due to a Friday slate that’s lacking in big arms.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Most people expected some regression from Cozart after a breakout 2017 campaign with the Reds earned him a big free-agent contract with the Angels. Instead of simply taking a modest step back, though, the infielder’s 2018 season was an absolute disaster. His slash line sunk to .219/.296/.362, his ISO dropped to .143 and his walk rate plummeted. To make matters worse, he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in late June, ending his season before he could attempt to bounce back from his horrific start. Cozart expects to be fully healthy when spring training rolls around, and given that the injury was to his non-throwing shoulder, it shouldn’t impact his ability to play the field too much. He has two more years on his contract with the Angels, which should help him maintain his starting gig at third base. Even in a starting role, it’s hard to trust him after last year’s debacle, though his .244 BABIP suggests some improvement could come.
Cozart is coming off a career season, setting highs in batting average, homers, runs and RBI. But saying that he set career-highs is vastly underselling how much of a surprise this was. Even accounting for his .297 average in 2017, his career average is a mere .254. He slugged .548 last year, yet maintains a career .411 mark. If the amplitude of the breakout doesn't sufficiently dissuade you of expecting a repeat, consider that he was only able to play 122 games and hasn't played in 145-plus games since 2015. This is all illustrative of why the Reds didn't tender a qualifying offer to Cozart when he became a free agent -- they were concerned that he would accept it and they would be stuck with an above-market contract. While we can't write-away last season as if it never happened, paying anywhere close to full price for it would be a grave mistake. Cozart will serve as the Angels' third baseman after signing a three-year deal in December.
After an awful knee injury ended his breakout 2015 campaign prematurely, Cozart picked up right where he left off to start 2016. Through his first 50 games, the 31-year-old slashed .303/.332/.532 to go with nine home runs, 32 runs, and 25 RBI atop the Reds' batting order. His production tapered off after that hot start, however, as he batted just .217 over the rest of the season (including a putrid .163/.293/.235 slash line at home). The shortstop's injury issues also crept back into the picture, as he missed time due to thumb and quadriceps ailments while also missing much of September with a knee problem. Cozart has some life in his bat, but it's tough to expect consistent production across an entire season as we simply haven't seen it. The Reds have been looking for a trade partner but so far have had no luck.
Cozart was in the middle of a breakout season offensively before suffering a gruesome knee injury while running out a groundball in June. The big question is whether his power spike was sustainable beyond a small-sample-size fluke, and whether he'll be able to generate that power after coming back from the knee injury. The one good thing that came from Cozart's injury is that it allowed Eugenio Suarez more playing time, and revealed that he can hit at the big league level. The conventional line of analysis is that Suarez is a better hitter than Cozart, but Cozart is a better defender at shortstop - or, at least, more sure-handed. Suarez however will probably have better range in 2016, so it's not guaranteed that Cozart sticks at shortstop. Tread carefully here - prior to 2015 Cozart was a negative-value offensive player, he's unlikely to run much going forward, and could ultimately lose his job or at least his position.
Even with the increased emphasis on run prevention in major league baseball, it's awfully difficult for a major league team to carry a bat like Cozart's in the lineup. When that team loses significant time and/or production from its two best hitters (Joey Votto and Jay Bruce), having Cozart in there on a daily basis is a recipe for disaster. Cozart is a superb defender who had his best year with the glove last season, but he also regressed at the plate. About the only positive offensive contribution he had was to steal seven bases in as many attempts, after not even attempting a swipe in 2013. He's likely to get another chance to prove us wrong in 2015, as the Reds have palpably few alternatives at shortstop throughout their system.
Cozart's continued presence in the second spot in the lineup consistently undermined the Reds' offense. He had 264 at-bats in that spot in the lineup, putting up a .254/.284/.367 line while batting between Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto. He wasn't any better elsewhere in the lineup, but at least then he wasn't actively diluting the top of the order. Making matters worse from a fantasy perspective, he didn't attempt any stolen bases. While his double-digit home run power makes him useful, Cozart doesn't seem to have too high of a ceiling.
Cozart and Drew Stubbs combined to give the Reds the least productive leadoff hitters in baseball, with Cozart hitting .223/.262/.379 in 465 plate appearances there. He did hit much better in the second spot in the order (.324/.378/.490) in 110 appearances, which is helpful as the Reds' stated goal this offseason was to acquire a leadoff hitter. Cozart is solid defensively, but he does not project to be an elite player with his glove. His 15 homers were still among the best for NL shortstops, though perhaps that's of rapidly diminishing value. Fortunately for Cozart, Billy Hamilton remains on track to play center field in 2013 even after the trade of Didi Gregorius in December.
At press time, the Reds hadn't paired Cozart with a veteran caddy to compete for the starting job as they did the previous two years with Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria, though the threat of Ryan Theriot still loomed. After starving for offense from the position between Paul Janish and Renteria in 2011, the Reds are crossing their fingers that Cozart is the answer. While Cozart held his own in his brief trial before an elbow injury ended his season, he didn't draw a walk in his 37 plate appearances. His minor league numbers suggest he's not a terribly patient hitter, either. In short, while he'll outproduce what the Reds got from the position last year, Cozart also has a limited offensive ceiling.
The Reds are likely to start Paul Janish at shortstop this season and not bring in a veteran caretaker for the job, as they did last year with Orlando Cabrera. That means a utility job will be open for the Reds, and Cozart could win that job, as the better defender at short between he and Chris Valaika. Unfortunately, Cozart's bat isn't really ready after a campaign at Triple-A Louisville where he posted a measly .310 OBP. He has some power, but there's not much upside here.
More Fantasy News
Dropped from 40-man roster
3BSan Francisco Giants  
Shoulder
January 13, 2020
Cozart (shoulder) was designated for assignment by the Giants on Monday.
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Dumped to Giants
3BSan Francisco Giants  
Shoulder
December 10, 2019
Cozart (shoulder) was traded from the Angels to the Giants along with along with Will Wilson in exchange for a player to be named later or cash Tuesday.
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Ready to hit again
3BLos Angeles Angels  
Shoulder
November 11, 2019
Cozart (shoulder) is ready to begin a hitting progression, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
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Set for shoulder procedure
3BLos Angeles Angels  
Shoulder
July 12, 2019
Cozart (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. He will undergo an arthroscopic debridement of his left shoulder on July 17 with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.
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Not progressing in recovery
3BLos Angeles Angels  
Shoulder
June 25, 2019
Cozart (shoulder) hasn't taken a swing in a month and still has limited range of motion with his left shoulder, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
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