Fightins

Two top Phils prospects face off in Dominican League opener

r-hoskins-3

Rhys Hoskins, image- Jay Floyd

Another off-season league got underway on Thursday with the Aguilas hosting the rival Gigantes, but it was the pitting of two teammates against one another that should be of interest to Phillies fans. The co-winners of this year’s Phillies Paul Owens Award, an honor bestowed upon players chosen as the top developmental performers in the organization each year, Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins, faced off in the contest.

The two sluggers led their 2016 regular season club, the Reading Fightin Phils, to a division title in the Double-A Eastern League this year.

It was Cozens, who went 0-for-4 in the game, and his Aguilas that were victorious by a score of 4-2 over Hoskins (1-for-3, HBP) and his Gigantes team.

Also in that game for the Gigantes, Phillies starting pitcher Alec Asher tossed five scoreless frames for a no decision. The 25-year-old righty posted a 2-1 record along with a 2.28 ERA in five big league starts this year.

Cozens, the Eastern League’s Most Valuable Player, posted a .276 batting average with 40 home runs and 125 RBI in 134 games for Reading. The lefty batting 22-year-old right fielder was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft pick out of high school in 2012.

Hoskins, a 23-year-old righty batting first baseman, tallied a .281 batting average with 38 home runs and 116 RBI in 135 games with Reading this year. A Sacramento State product, Hoskins was the Phillies’ 5th round draft selection in 2014.

Elsewhere in off-season leagues, outfield prospect Carlos Tocci is batting .326 with two doubles and five RBI in 12 games for the Tigres of the Venezuelan Winter League.

In the Arizona Fall League, third baseman Mitch Walding sports a .316 batting average with a double, a triple, an RBI and two steals in six games for Scottsdale. The lefty batting 23-year-old was a 5th round pick of the Phillies in 2011. Walding has played some first base thus far for the Scorpions.

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