It was not really a heroic game that the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the San Diego Padres on Monday night. But if it had a hero, on our end, it was Pete Kozma, the Cardinals' third-string shortstop and a 40-man-roster beneficiary, and that's worth talking about. Because the odds weren't very good, Monday, that he'd stand in for the rest of the Cardinals' offense. Really not-very-good.
Kozma ended the game 3-4 with a double, triple, and nearly half the Cardinals' 13 total bases. Meanwhile, in AAA Memphis—the St. Louis Cardinals' 24-year-old former first-round pick was hitting .232/.292/.355, and averaging approximately 1.2 total bases per game. And that's his best year yet in AAA; since arriving his OPS has gone from .569 all the way up to .647.
It was enough of a career day to drive his limited MLB time over replacement level—he's now a career .286/.375/.464 hitter in 33 plate appearances. So here's to you, Pete Kozma: If your MLB career ended this afternoon, you'd be a small-sample-size version of, I don't know, Troy Tulowitzki.