The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Angels in the Infield: Zack Cozart Signs with Los Angeles

After a boringly slow start, the hot stove sure is heating up now. And as of late, the Angels are the team making the most ruckus. After filling one massive void at second base yesterday with Ian Kinsler, the other hole in their infield was filled this afternoon when they agreed to terms with former Cincinnati Reds shortstop, Zack Cozart. The deal was reported to be for three years with an AAV of 12.67M. With Andrelton Simmons firmly entrenched at short, Cozart will slide over to the hot corner in 2018.

In 2017, Cozart enjoyed a career year, setting career-highs virtually across the board. He hit .297/.385/.548/.933 with 24 home runs, 63 RBI, 80 runs, and a solid 62/78 BB/K ratio. That .933 OPS trailed only Carlos Correa (.941) amongst shortstops. Put it all together and Cozart was the 12th most valuable fantasy shortstop last season, and 8th if you count only full-time shortstops.

With this acquisition, the Angels now have one of the deepest and most talented lineups in the American League.

Angels Projected 2018 Lineup

  1. Ian Kinsler 2B
  2. Mike Trout CF
  3. Justin Upton LF
  4. Albert Pujols DH
  5. Kole Calhoun RF
  6. Zack Cozart 3B
  7. C.J. Cron 1B
  8. Andrelton Simmons SS
  9. Martin Maldonado C

Cozart’s 2018 Fantasy Value

While this signing was a great move for the Angels, it hurts Cozart’s fantasy value in a couple of ways. First, as you can see above, he’s likely going to slot in the 6-8 range in the batting order. For most of 2017 in Cincinnati, he was hitting second in front of Joey Votto and Adam Duvall and right behind Billy Hamilton. With all due respect to C.J. Cron, Andrelton Simmons, and Martin Maldonado, they’re not exactly the same caliber of players. And trust me, I’m one of the biggest Hamilton haters you’ll find in the fantasy baseball realm. With lesser talent directly surrounding Cozart in the lineup, his runs and RBI will suffer a tad.

Secondly, not only does the lower batting slot matter because of the players hitting around him, it also means he’s likely going get around 25-50 fewer at-bats over the course of a full season, which, again, will drop his runs and RBI a little more.

OK, I lied. There’s a third way this move hurts Cozart’s fantasy value. I swear this is the last one. His new home ballpark in Los Angeles isn’t quite as hitter-friendly as Great American Park was in Cincinnati. Granted, maybe it was just Mike Trout robbing all those hits and home runs in center field, who knows.

Early ADP data has Cozart as the 13th shortstop off the board around pick 197 overall. Signing with the Angels will likely drop him a couple of spots and rounds, but he’s still a solid pick in the late rounds as a bench middle infielder or utility player.

I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members.  Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.

For more on Cozart, check out The Baseball Show’s video profile below.

Zack Cozart, 3B Angels [VIDEO]

Previous Hot Stove Analysis

Phillies Ink Carlos Santana to Three-Year Deal

Everyone’s Signing Relievers, But Who Will Close?

Angels Trade for Ian Kinsler

Cardinals Finally Get Their Marlins Outfielder

Cubs and Twins Gamble on Smyly and Pineda

Chase Headley Gets Dumped on Padres

Cubs and Cardinals Add Potential Closers

Giancarlo Stanton Joins Yankees

Rockies Sign Chris Iannetta

Angels Land Shohei Ohtani

Tigers Sign Mike Fiers

Dee Gordon Traded to Mariners

Cubs Sign Tyler Chatwood

Rangers Sign Mike Minor

Welington Castillo Inks Deal with White Sox

Potential Closers Traded: Boxberger and Johnson

Doug Fister Signs with Rangers

Ryon Healy Traded to Mariners

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.