No one thinks that Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins are top prospects. Sure they had two of the most productive seasons for any Phillies farmhand in some years. However, you do not have to look at the online MLB odds to know that they have holes in their game.
These are the sorts of imperfections that you know will be exposed as they climb the ladder. However, that probably wasn’t a priority issue for them when they stepped onto a big-league field on Tuesday and hugged the men they had shared long bus rides with during their time in double-A baseball.
Right now, Hoskins and Cozens have a number of opportunities open to them, especially when you look at the gaudy numbers next to their names. The pair, which has a combined 78 home runs, 64 doubles, and 201 runs, split the Paul Owens Award (which is given to players in the Phillies Minor-league).
Along with Ben Lively (honored as the best pitcher), the pair was treated to a trip to South Philadelphia during which they made several TV and Radio appearances. They were also paraded before fans on a number of occasions.
Dubbed the baseball town bash brothers, Hoskins and Cozens T-Shirts have become all the rage today. People that made it to the FirstEnergy Stadium also had the opportunity to pose with cutouts of the baseball stars.
Hoskins and Cozens’ presence made the sort of splash that was hard to miss, and the players clearly had fun drinking in all the cheers and adoration. It should be noted that Cozens and Hoskins will not begin at Triple-A Lehigh Valley until 2017. Jorge Alfaro (Catcher) and Roman Quinn (Outfielder) were the ones promoted to Philadelphia.
Cozens and Hoskins’ true test will not begin until they face higher caliber pitchers at the Dominican Republic Winter Ball. For Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin, evaluating players during such years can prove challenging.
You see these things in the majors, where managers struggle to determine whether players performances were real or merely a fluke. Hoskins and Cozens struck out at a record pace in 2016 before coming very close to the all-time record for homers hit in a season.
It is worth noting how dissimilar the two hitters are, this despite the way they benefited from each other. Hoskins was the most consistent of the two, displaying a reliable power stroke in the previous year.
Cozens, it was clear, hadn’t received nearly enough time to hone his prodigious raw power. As Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ director of player development pointed out, special emphasis was placed on helping Cozens improve as a hitter. To his credit, Cozens had no problem giving himself over to Jordan and his crew and doing everything he was asked in order to become the player they want.
Cozens has hardly achieved the pinnacle of his abilities. He still has ways to go, though he has been making steady and consistent progress. Seeing as he isn’t the most athletic of players, the sooner Cozens improves his fielding skills at first base, the better.
Cozens and Hoskins are an interesting pair that will continue to strengthen one another over time.