Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Cozart catching up, finding spring swing


TEMPE, Ariz. -- Reds shortstop Zack Cozart isn't worried about hitting Spring Training home runs. All he's cared about lately is getting ahold of a pitch and doing some damage.

Cozart snapped a 1-for-14 skid to start spring on Monday with a homer to left field against D-backs starter Brandon McCarthy.

"Obviously, I haven't hit the way I've wanted to so far," Cozart said on Tuesday. "I'm not going up there trying to do too much. I'm trying to get my timing back. Yesterday was a product of me being on time and putting a good swing on it. It feels good not just to hit a home run, but to hit the ball hard and getting that feel for hitting the ball hard. That's what Spring Training is all about."

During a 1-for-2 day on Tuesday vs. the Angels, Cozart lined a second-inning double to left field in his first at-bat.

Cozart, 27, batted .246 with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 138 games last season during his rookie year. He has the added security of knowing he'll likely be the regular shortstop in the long term with prospect Billy Hamilton being moved to center field and Didi Gregorius traded to Arizona in the offseason.

"In the past, I've had to come in and hit well and prove to Dusty [Baker, manager] and Walt [Jocketty, general manager] that I could play," Cozart said. "Now they know what they're getting from me, I am thinking I'm going to improve that much more. It's easier to use Spring Training for what it's for -- getting ready for April 1."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español