Skip to main content

Promising OF prospect Cozens missing Fall League with arm injury

Dylan Cozens, image- Tug Haines
An attempt to show off in front of various team coaches and front office personnel seems to have cost Phillies outfield prospect Dylan Cozens a chance to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. A week prior to heading out to take part in the highly regarded autumn exhibition league that features many of baseball's top minor league talents, the skilled slugger hurt his arm during routine drills in Clearwater, FL, at the organization's spring training facilities.

"My first throw I went to make from right field I went to throw it and I was trying to throw it pretty hard, and I was trying to show off a little bit, like maybe show off the arm, and it just like grabbed on me and tightened up real bad," Cozens confessed in a phone interview on Friday. "And then, I overthrew the guy a little bit and they made me do another throw and I went to throw that one and it hurt pretty bad and I was like, 'I'm shutting it down.'"

Medical examinations, including an MRI and x-rays, followed for the 21-year-old, who wrapped up his 2015 regular season with the Double-A Reading Fightins. The diagnosis was a forearm strain and swelling of the UCL in his left arm.

Initially, it was unclear how much time Cozens would miss, so he flew out to Arizona to join six other Phillies minor leaguers as members of the Glendale Desert Dogs for the month-long AFL schedule. After further evaluation, the imposing six-foot-six 235-pounder was ordered to return to Clearwater for rehab work with the organization's training staff.


The missed opportunity doesn't have Cozens feeling down, as he takes it as a lesson learned and could possibly still play this off-season with a team in Puerto Rico when the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League gets underway.

Until the arm issue came about, it had been a solid year for the lefty batting former two-sport high school standout. Cozens, who also had promise on the football field, was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2012 draft.

After three full years directing his attention strictly toward baseball, Cozens feels that he's made considerable progress toward his ultimate goal.

"I didn't know the game at all when I was drafted. I was just out there playing basically on raw talent. I mean, I've learned so much as far as playing the game every day and each year going through seasons and stuff, you learn different things. I just definitely see myself as, each year, continuing to get better and better," Cozens stated.

This year, the Arizona native began his campaign with the first and second-half division champion Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League, where he posted a .282 average with five homers, 46 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 96 games. Following a late-season promotion, Cozens would sport a .350 average with three home runs, nine RBI and two steals in 11 regular season games before heading into the playoffs with Reading in the Eastern League.

His personal progress and playing for two post-season bound clubs made the year more enjoyable for the youngster.

"It was definitely one of my best years so far as a Phillie," Cozens said. "I had a ton of fun. Being able to be a part of two playoff teams was awesome. I had great teammates and had a bunch of fun."

Cozens, who was ranked by Phillies Nation this year as the Phils' number nine prospect, along with some of those teammates he mentioned make up a core group of prospects that the Phillies hope will make their current rebuild a successful one.

"A lot of us feel like we're going to be the guys in the next year or so, so we're just trying to be good teammates to one another and get closer and closer and take the core group from each team and, hopefully, that'll be the big league product in the future and you've got such a talented group of young players and we're gonna go up there and king of try to do what the Cubs did this year, which is just a bunch of young guys taking over and maybe go farther than they did."

Other AFL notes-

One day prior to flying to Australia to begin playing in an off-season league there, outfielder Aaron Brown, who was a teammates of Cozens with Clearwater this year, was tapped to replace him with Glendale for the remainder of the AFL season.

The lefty batting Brown, who was the Phils' third round pick last year out of Pepperdine, is 4-for-11 (.364 average) in his first three games

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #16 RHP McKinley Moore

Moore, image- Jay Floyd Acquired this spring in a deal that sent outfielder Adam Haseley to the White Sox, righty pitcher McKinley Moore joined the Phillies organization and quickly garnered attention as a promising relief option for the future. Listed at six-feet-six, 225-pounds, Moore has an imposing, sluggerish frame.   A 14th round draft selection by the Chi Sox in 2019 out of Arkansas-Little Rock, Moore signed quickly and made his minor league debut that same year.  In 22 relief appearances in Rookie ball, Moore collected a 4.84 ERA, a .264 batting average against and three saves. In 2021, he split his season with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Advanced Winston Salem.  In 37 combined appearances, Moore tallied a 2-2 record with nine saves, a 4.20 ERA and a .234 batting average against. He also held his own in the prestigious Arizona Fall League last year, where he posted a 4.22 ERA while striking out nine and walking five in 10 2/3 innings pitched.   Considered as a flame thrower,

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #15 Infielder Kendall Simmons

An All-Star in 2019 with the short-season Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters,  Kendall Simmons  is one of the Phillies' most promising prospects.   Simmons, an outstanding and multi-positional infielder, was the Phillies' 6th round draft pick in 2018. That year, he made his professional debut in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, posting a .234 average with three homers and 11 RBI in 32 games. The right-handed batter tallied a .234 batting average with 12 homers, 34 RBI and five stolen bases in 51 games with Williamsport in 2019.  In the 2020-2021 off-season, Simmons played in the Australian Baseball League, making up for some of the time missed due to the cancelled 2020 season.  In 21 games with Adelaide, he notched a .172 batting average with a home run, seven RBI and three steals.  Last year, Simmons played primarily with Class A Clearwater.  With the Threshers, he recorded a .226/.321/.460 slash line in 41 games.  Listed at six-feet-two, 180 pounds, strength and athleticism

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________