St. Louis Cardinals: Four shortstops the team missed

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2007 … Zack Cozart, Mississippi (2nd round, 79th overall, to the Cincinnati Reds)

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Mozart suffered a season-ending injury on a play at first base in June. Now, his future with the Reds is in question. Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

One round after the St. Louis Cardinals took Kozma, the Reds snagged Cozart, who made his big league debut four years later and became Cincinnati’s permanent starting shortstop in 2012. After showing promise with the bat in his first two seasons, he regressed big time in 2014. In fact, his OPS had been on a downward trend from the start, falling from .687 in ’12 to .665 in ’13 to .568 in ’14.

Stellar defense kept him on the field as the starter in 2015, and he seemed to have found his groove at the plate. But his season ended on a bad slide on June 10 that tore up his knee. Blog Red Machine says Mozart now enters the 2016 season with his status in doubtEugenio Suarez filled in capably enough to earn consideration for the full-time job.

Cozart’s so-so offensive numbers take a lot of the sting out of this miss. Of course, he would have been a serious upgrade over Kozma.

Next: Errors at Short: #2

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