Dylan Cozens had a monster 2016, but the Phillies prospect has flailed his way through his first month at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
One of the biggest storylines of the 2016 Phillies season was the utter dominance in Double-A by prospects Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens. Cozens knocked 40 home runs with Hoskins hitting 38 of his own. They were the top two home run leaders in minor-league baseball.
Hoskins’ success from 2016 has carried over into this season. Through 24 games this year, he already has seven home runs with a .350/.447/.675 line.
However, Cozens has been unable to translate his success from last year into 2017. While he does have four home runs, he has just 14 hits overall. His line for the season so far is a measly .165/.232/.341.
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What’s been truly awful about Cozens’ season so far is his strikeout total. In 95 plate appearances, he has 40 strikeouts, good for a 42.1% strikeout rate. While his 8.4% walk rate is still decent, it by no means makes up for his monstrous strikeout total.
Strikeouts were a problem for Cozens last year as well as his strikeout rate for the season was 31.7%.
The difference was that he managed a .276 batting average despite that strikeout rate.
Cozens recognizes his struggles and knows he has to improve: [quote via Jack McCaffery of Montgomery Media]
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"“I definitely feel that I’ve struggled,” Cozens was saying, in a quiet clubhouse Tuesday, in between a vigorous workout in the weight room and a windy batting practice. “But it is early. It’s something to learn from, I guess. Everybody struggles. And I’d like to try to learn from it as best I can…“I just want to go out and have better at-bats,” he said. “I have been late on some fastballs and missing pitches that I should be hitting.”"
IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan said he was going to keep Cozens in the lineup despite his struggles.
Wathan wants to give Cozens the chance to hit his way out of his struggles.
There were doubts about if Cozens could perform this year in Lehigh Valley like he did last year in Reading, and so far it appears those doubts were warranted.