Zack Cozart received an email Monday from Rob Butcher, the Reds’ vice president of media relations, updating him on All-Star Game voting . It said simply, “Moving on up.”
Cozart has been the best shortstop in the National League all season. Fans outside of Cincinnati have started to take notice. In the past week, fans cast 283,234 votes for Cozart to start the All-Star Game. He has 547,750 votes and moved into second place behind the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager (604,783), who received 205,436 votes in the last week.
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Cozart passed the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell (537,688), who received 158,048 votes in the last week.
“It is a little shocking to pull ahead of Addison,” Cozart said. “That market, you know they’re voting nonstop. There are a lot of people there compared to Cincinnati. Getting recognized outside of Cincinnati is always a good thing. You know the Cincinnati Reds fans are probably voting, but being in a small market, you know that’s not going to make up a lot of ground.”
Cozart has never made an All-Star team. If he started, he would be the first Reds shortstop to start since Barry Larkin in 2000.
Cozart is more concerned about the fact that the Reds (25-30) had lost five of their last six games heading into the start of a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at Great American Ball Park.
“My goals are all team oriented,” Cozart said. “I want to win. Simple. That’s it.”
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Cozart has been a bright start since Opening Day. He ranks second in the league in hitting (.344). He’s third in on-base percentage (.432). He leads NL shortstops in those categories and many more, including home runs (9) and RBIs (33).
Cozart was an All-Star candidate a year ago when he hit .267 with 14 home runs before the break.
“I don’t think I was having that great of a year compared to this year last year,” Cozart said. “I was doing OK, but the shortstop position was a little deeper, doing a little better. I knew with Addison Russell winning the fan vote, they only took one other shortstop. I knew I would be that odd man out. That’s the thing. I wish we could somehow fix the voting. I’m not saying I was snubbed last year, but certain guys get snubbed because the starters are usually a fan favorite or from a big-market team, and sometimes they don’t deserve it. So it takes away from somebody else, which is unfortunate. That’s just the way it is.”
Cardinals at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 1410, 700