|Dylan Cozens, image- Jay Floyd|
At six feet six inches tall and 235 pounds Cozens has an imposing frame that was well-suited for the grid iron, as he was a two-sport star during high school. Already touting a great ability to drive the ball, the Arizona native has 30-plus homer potential. Last season marked just the second calendar year that Cozens had devoted all of his time to baseball, no longer competing in football after signing with the Phillies.
After he was selected in the second round of the 2012 MLB amateur draft, Cozens debuted in the minors with the rookie level Gulf Coast Phillies. In 50 games there, the lefty hitting youngster notched 15 doubles, two triples, five homers and 24 RBI. Cozens also participated in the Florida Instructional League in 2012.
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 when they kicked off in June. Cozens was among the league leaders in many categories that 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.
In 2014, with Class A Lakewood, Cozens took strides had a good season, posting a .248 average with 16 homers and 62 RBI. He followed that up with a solid campaign in the Australian Baseball League this off-season. In 45 games with Melbourne, he tallied a .255 average with eight home runs, 23 RBI and 11 steals.
Phillies brass and coaches praised the amount of development Cozens showed last season with Lakewood, as he was pressed with the notion of finishing his work and not chasing pitches out of the zone. Director of player development Joe Jordan told me in August that Cozens improved in every aspect of his game in 2014.
Sometimes critiqued for having a long swing, Cozens may not hit for great average (.254 clip in 250 affiliated minor league games), but with his slugger potential, he should be able to produce well enough at the plate to play at the upper levels of the sport.
On the bases, the 20-year-old isn't as slow as most people might expect of a big-bodied masher. He's proven to be somewhat of a threat on the base paths, swiping 23 bases in 30 attempts last year in the Sally League. He sports a 74% success rate in steal attempts as a pro. While he shouldn't be projected to collect similar steal totals at higher levels, Cozens could contribute with his feet.
Cozens, who has played a wide majority of his games in right field, has been praised for his adaptability and is a very capable fielder. He covers a good amount of ground and has a strong arm in the outfield.
Expect Cozens to be on the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers' roster this coming season.
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