Zack Cozart solidifies hot corner for LA Angels

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 16: Zack Cozart
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 16: Zack Cozart /

When the LA Angels decided to pursue shortstop Zack Cozart in the free agent market, the first question is whether he could make the transition to third base.  Cozart was willing to try and that was enough.

The LA Angels have been looking for a third baseman for many years now.  They have had some serviceable players over the past four seasons with David Frese and Yunel Escobar manning the hot corner.  However, the Angels are hoping now that Zack Cozart could be a long-term answer as they signed him to a three-year deal for 38 million dollars earlier in the month.

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Cozart is a very good defensive shortstop and he should be able to make the move to third base very seamlessly.  Not only is Cozart an upgrade defensively to Yunel Escobar he should also be an offensive upgrade as well.

Cozart has played for six seasons in Cincinati and is a career .254 batting average.  His OBP leaves a lot to be desired at .305 for his career. In 2017 Cozart finished with career-highs in almost every category on offense.  He hit .297 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs.  He also had a .385 OBP and .548 Slugging Percentage all of which were career highs for Cozart.

Should the Angels expect Cozart to do so again in 2018, probably not.  However, with a potentially extremely potent line-up Cozart could flourish in Anaheim in 2018 and come close to his 2017 totals.

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At the very least Cozart should hit close to 20 homers and drive in close to 70 runs.  Will he get on base as much as he did in 2018, most likely not, but if he is even at a .340 OBP the Angels will be very happy.

However in the field Cozart could really solidify the left side of the infield teamed with Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons.  With addition of both Cozart and second baseman Ian Kinsler the Angels infield defense will be very strong.

Next: Will Ian Kinsler bounce back in 2018?

One thing is for sure the 2018 Angels will be fun to watch and Cozart could be a big part of it.