Phillies: Will Dylan Cozens ever contribute at the major league level?

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Dylan Cozens #77 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 20, 2018 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Dylan Cozens #77 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 20, 2018 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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Will the second “Bash Brother” reach the Phillies this year, and if not, ever?

Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens made history with the Reading Fightin’ Phils and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, putting on mid-game firework shows for the Phillies top minor league organizations. The Bash Brothers hit 78 combined longballs in 2016 for Lehigh Valley and 56 the year after despite Hoskins being called-up during the summer.

On the outside looking in, the two never felt like legitimate major league prospects who could carry the organization through another championship run. Hoskins has proved doubters wrong with 22 home runs in 81 career games with Philadelphia. Cozens, on the other hand, hasn’t made the next step needed to break into the big leagues.

Cozens has been plagued by strikeouts throughout his career, something that knocks him down a peg within an analytically-inclined coaching staff and front office. Since 2016 Cozens has struck out 416 times and walked just 133, averaging a strikeout and a half per game and a walk every two games. A career .257 batting average in the minors wouldn’t keep Cozens above water either.

Luckily for Cozens, the bat has been picking up in Lehigh Valley over his last 10 games. The 23-year-old outfielder is on a nine-game hitting streak batting .361 with four home runs, three coming in one game, and 13 strikeouts to two walks.

SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 10: Dylan Cozens of the U.S. Team bats during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 10: Dylan Cozens of the U.S. Team bats during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Even if Cozens continues to rake in Lehigh Valley, there’s already a logjam of outfielders in Philadelphia. Signing Carlos Santana and forcing Hoskins into left severely damaged the opportunities Cozens could have this year and beyond considering the prospects around him and the talent approaching in free agency.

Even if Hoskins, Herrera, Altherr, or Williams is injured at some point, Cozens is unlikely to be called upon due to major league service time constraints and players already on the 25-man roster in place, such as Altherr/Williams, Pedro Florimon, Scott Kingery, and Cesar Hernandez, all of whom having ventured into the outfield at some point in their careers.

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Even in the minor leagues, Roman Quinn is a more-likely call-up considering his speed and ability to play shortstop. Further down in the minor leauges are first round picks Cornelius Randolph, Adam Haseley, and number one overall pick Mickey Moniak.

It’s highly-likely Cozens becomes a trade chip when the Phillies deem themselves ready to acquire more major league talent, in particular, starting pitching.

Could a deal for a relatively young ace or a veteran such as Cole Hamels garner a power hitting prospect such as Cozens?

Next: 5 trades that won the 2008 World Series

Continue to be excited for and about Cozens in Lehigh Valley, but it’s highly unlikely he ever makes a major league impact for Philadelphia given their current situation.

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