Case: Signed through 2017, Beltre is likely nearing the end of what looks to be a Hall of Fame career. Judging by his 2015 output, he still has plenty in the tank. Beltre slashed .287/.334/.453 last season with 18 homers and 83 RBIs for the Rangers and finished seventh in MVP voting. If he stays healthy, a reprise of those totals — or perhaps even better — could be in store this season. Even though Beltre has lost a step at third base, he’s still strong at the hot corner: He finished 2015 fourth in the league in Defensive WAR ().
But there does appear to be something real happening here. While Cozart’s unlikely to maintain his outstanding .340/.420/.563 line all season on account of he’s not Mike Trout, his walk rate is more than double his career norm and he’s hitting more line drives and more hard-hit balls than in any of his five big-league seasons before this one. Set for free agency after the season, Cozart may emerge as an intriguing if somewhat baffling trade candidate in the late summer. He has been by far the best hitting shortstop in baseball to date this season, which, again… it’s Zack Cozart. Huh.