Above: Pete Kozma makes sure "Kozma-esque" is no longer an insult. - Patrick McDermott
The St. Louis Cardinals' prospect-watcher-in-chief compares Jake Lemmerman to Pete Kozma, which is no longer the insult it was this time last year.
The good news for Jake Lemmerman--the AA shortstop the St. Louis Cardinals traded Skip Schumaker for--is that there's never been a better time to be compared to Pete Kozma. Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch, one of the closest observers of the Cardinals' minor leagues, makes the comparison explicit in this great Lemmerman profile, in which their Baseball America Prospect Handbook notes (one of which Goold wrote) are strikingly similar.
The difference between Lemmerman and Kozma is their one saving attribute--for Lemmerman it's his reasonable minor league numbers, and for Kozma it's that he was relatively young for his league, as a high school draft pick, during some of his worst seasons. Other than that, they're "heady" shortstop prospects, whose status as future big leaguers was never built on tools or talent so much as the mental state scouts believed they brought to the position.
Neither player has done much to portend a long and brilliant MLB career, but given Lemmerman's job description--repeating AA--he'll have a chance to put up some bounce-back numbers if he can cut his strikeout rate down and take advantage of the Springfield Cardinals' hitter-friendly park and league.