Saturday, January 25, 2014

Prospect Nation 2014: #18 Outfielder Dylan Cozens

Natural power is what made outfielder Dylan Cozens the Phillies 2nd round draft choice (77th overall) in 2012. The six-foot-six 235-pounder has since shown a lot of progress in his short time in the minor leagues and is one the organization's most promising offensive players.

After signing with the Phillies, Cozens debuted with the rookie level Gulf Coast Phillies.  In 50 games there, the lefty hitting Arizona native collected 15 doubles, two triples, five homers and 24 RBI. Cozens also participated in the Florida Instructional League in 2012, where he impressed Phillies coaches and staff with his ability to drive the ball to the farthest reaches of the Carpenter Complex and neighboring teams' facilities.

After a productive spring in 2013, Cozens was retained in extended spring training and made his official season debut with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League.  Cozens was among the league leaders in many categories last year, placing second in the league in doubles (19), extra base hits (30), and runs (50) while ranking third in slugging percentage (.469).  Additionally, he batted .265 with two triples, nine home runs and 35 RBI in 68 games for the Cutters.

As would be expected, Cozens performed better against right-handers (.273/.351/.500) than he did against lefty pitchers (.247/.325/.397) last season. 

The highly athletic youngster was committed to play Division 1 football with Arizona after competing in just one year of high school football as a defensive end.  Cozens passed up the opportunity to be a dual sport collegiate athlete for the Wildcats when he quickly signed with the Phillies following the 2012 draft.

At the plate, Cozens has a bit of a long swing that critics point out could result in difficulty producing a high batting average, but if the Phils are looking for a prototypical corner outfield slugger with this powerful teenager, a .250 average would be perfectly acceptable if the power is there to offer other valuable production.

The Phillies are big on Cozens' power potential and feel his ceiling is as a big league slugger.  In his senior season of high school ball for Chaparral HS, he led the state of Arizona in home runs with 19.

On the bases, Cozens isn't as slow as most people might expect of a big-bodied masher.  He's proven to be an occasional threat on the bases, swiping eight bags in 10 tries with the GCL club in 2012 and notching 11 steals in 17 chances last year with Williamsport. 

On the defensive side, Cozens hasn't had any difficulty adjusting to the pro ranks.  Coaches have noticed a small issue with his first step, but Cozens has been praised for his adaptability and is already a capable fielder.  He covers a good amount of ground and has a very strong arm.

Jersey shore area fans will be treated to quite a show this year as Cozens is a lock to play with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws this upcoming season, barring some type of injury.


To view the running list of this year's countdown, click HERE.

No comments: