Pete Kozma

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Peter Michael Kozma

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Biographical information[edit]

Shortstop Peter Kozma was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2007 amateur draft and reached the majors in 2011.

Kozma hit .522 with 56 runs and 55 RBI as a high school senior and was a second-team All-USA pick by USA Today. St. Louis took him 18th overall in the 2007 draft. He was signed by scout Steve Gossett and made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Cardinals, appearing in 4 games with the club. He then played for the Johnson City Cardinals, hitting .264/.350/.396 in 30 games, before ending the season with the Batavia Muckdogs, for whom he was just 4 for 27. Overall, he hit .233 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 42 games that season.

He played for the Quad Cities River Bandits (99 games) and Palm Beach Cardinals (24 games) in 2008, hitting a combined .258 with five home runs and 50 RBI in 123 games. He also stole 12 bases in 18 attempts.

In 2009, he split the season between Palm Beach (18 games) and the Springfield Cardinals (113 games), hitting .231 with six home runs and 45 RBI in 131 games. He played for Springfield in 2010, hitting .243 with 13 home runs and 72 RBI in 132 games. He also stole 13 bases in 15 tries. He began 2011 with the Memphis Redbirds before being called up by St. Louis in May. he hit .176 in 16 games in the majors that season.

Kozma was the Cardinals' regular shortstop in 2013, but hit only .217 with 1 homer and 35 RBIs in 143 games, giving him a paltry OPS+ of 53. Still, the Cardinals made it all the way to the World Series that season, where they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games. Pete went 4 for 10 in the Division Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but his bat went cold after that, as he was a combined 1 for 25 over the next two series. The Cardinals liked his fielding, but they needed more production from the offensive side, and he lost his job in 2014. He hit .304 that year, but in only 14 games. In 2015, he was a back-up infielder for the Cards as they put up the best record in the majors in the regular season. In 76 games, he hit only .152 with no homers and 2 RBIs as his contributions were strictly with the glove.

After the 2015 season, Kozma became a free agent and spent all of 2016 in their minor league system with the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He hit .209/.268/.265 in 130 games, with 2 homers and 32 RBIs. Still, in spite of his cold bat, he managed to make the Yankees' opening day roster in 2017, but it was strictly because regular SS Didi Gregorius was on the disabled list. It was Ronald Torreyes who received the starting assignment in Didi's absence, while Pete only made 10 plate appearances in 11 games. He went 1 for 9 and when Gregorius returned on April 28th, he was designated for assignment. He landed on his feet as he was claimed on waivers by the Texas Rangers, who kept him on the big league roster to replace Jurickson Profar as their main utility infielder.

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