Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dylan Cozens Interview Excerpts

Dylan Cozens, image- Jay Floyd
Recently, I spoke with Phillies outfield prospect Dylan Cozens about an injury keeping him from playing in the highly regarded Arizona Fall League (read that feature by clicking here). Below are some bonus quotes from my telephone interview with Cozens about his progress, his 2015 season, spending time last winter playing baseball in Australia and more.

- The 21-year-old talked about transitioning from the Class A Advanced Florida State League to the Double A Eastern League late in the season this year...

I felt like it was easy for me (in Double A). I felt like it was a lot easier up there to get a plan, make a plan against the pitcher. You kind of have an idea of how they are going to attack you. In High A, you don't really see that as much. Everybody's just kind of doing their own thing. I definitely felt like it was easier to get a plan. More pitchers were around the plate, which was good. Umpires were better, made it easier to lay off things, so I felt more confident laying off pitches and waiting to get my pitch. Also, I came up to more hitters' parks, which made things a lot better. I felt like it was very tough to get the ball out of the yard in the Florida State League. So, I just stopped trying to do it. I just focused on hitting line drives.

- Cozens spoke of who has helped him progress through the minor leagues thus far...

I've had some great coaches. I've had Greg Legg as my manager for two years in a row now. He's been awesome. He's helped me out a ton. This year, my hitting coach, Coach (Rob) Ducey was great. We worked on a couple different things and tried new things out. Different approaches, talking game, different things with my swing, stuff like that. He's a hell of a coach and our hitting coordinator (Andy) Tracy is always great. He's taught me a lot too. And then, going up to Double A, Dusty (Wathan) and Mickey Morandini were also great.. They were just supportive and kind of let me do my own thing. I was kind of on the right track. I've been blessed with some great Phillies coaches, that's for sure. And then, (Andy) Abad, the outfield coordinator has really helped my game in the outfield with my throwing and stuff, getting me to throw better as well. 

- I asked Cozens if he feels like he's a little underrated for his defense and speed...

I don't really pay attention to any of the ratings and all of that, but I do feel like I'm definitely one of the fastest and can get around just as good as anybody out there in the outfield. I feel like I've proved that just on the base paths and stealing bags and what not and laying down bunts. And in the outfield, I definitely need to make more of an emphasis on that and keep getting better.
- The Arizona native offered thoughts on playing in the Australian Baseball League last winter and missing the holidays at home with family...

I'm definitely a summer guy. I love the warmth and stuff and I guess missing Christmas with the family and stuff like that was kind of rough, and Thanksgiving, but I ended up going there and having the time of my life. To this day it was one of the best experiences of my life. My brother actually came down there and visited me for like a month, month-and-a-half, so it was fun. I was hanging with Chace Numata, one of my best friends. That brought us a lot closer. And we had Thanksgiving at one of our teammate's houses and that was awesome. It was a great experience and I'm grateful to his family for having us over and it was a ton of fun.

The whole culture over there was awesome. The people over there are the nicest people you'll ever meet.

- Cozens offered some thoughts on the state of baseball down under...

The fan base wasn't the best, but it's still official type baseball which is all that really matters. I feel like there's potential for the sport to grow a lot. It's different from the United States, where sports aren't the biggest thing over there like it is in the United States, but I mean if there's a way to start promoting (it), I feel like they could get a lot of fans in there. Maybe if the league got better. I don't know. Who knows? It could happen.
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