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Kozma is Out of this World!
Do you recognize this man?
Where did this guy come from?
Rafael Furcal reinjures his tempermental elbow on August 30, 2012, and the Cardinals call up from AAA Memphis...Pete Kozma? Had any but the most diehard-, minor league-following fans ever heard of him?
He had been a first round draft pick - but in 5 years in the minor leagues, he had mostly batted in the low 200's and his play at short and third, although solid, hadn't exactly inspired comparisons to Ozzie Smith. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak admitted after the 2012 season that the organization had nearly given up hope on Pete ever contributing to the major league club.
But he shone in the NLDS vs the Washington Nationals, batting in the winning runs in that wild come-from-WAY-behind game 5 win.
In the NLCS vs the San Francisco Giants, reality seemed to have set in. The big stage may have been too much too soon after all. Pete made some errors and his hitting fell off dramatically. But he wasn't the only one having issues at the plate. The Cardinals only scored one run in the final 3 games of the series. Fate really seemed on the side of the Giants too. Could even the most experienced shortstop have handled a baseball that actually hit the bat THREE times before entering the field of play????
Who could've fielded this?!?
Who is he, really?
People question whether Pete Kozma can sustain the high level of performance he has exhibited thus far at the major league level, when his minor league statistics are so mediocre.
As of this writing, he is in a major hitting slump, although his fielding continues to be reliable.
It's hard to get a handle on Pete, because he seems like a quiet guy who just goes about his business and doesn't get too ruffled by anything - good or bad.
An even keel kind of guy
Pete Kozma has hit only one home run this season, but it was a monster blast!
He makes a difference
I've been to several Cardinals games this year, and watched or listened to most of the rest. I saw Pete Kozma lay down the perfect bunt for a successful suicide squeeze play on May 19th. I've seen him hustle from 1st to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt when he saw no one was covering. He has saved many runs from scoring with some outstanding defensive plays.
I love having Pete Kozma as the Cardinals' shortshop. You go, Pete!!