Future Phillies Report: The Bash Brothers Are Killing It in May - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Future Phillies Report: The Bash Brothers Are Killing It in May

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    Future Phillies Report: The Bash Brothers Are Killing It in May
    CSNPhilly.com
    Future Phillies Report: The Bash Brothers are killing it in May

    The Bash Brothers are operating at peak efficiency this month for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who can't lose in May.

    That's where we'll start this week's Future Phillies Report.

    OF Dylan Cozens (AAA)
    Cozens is having a Joey Gallo-esque season for Lehigh Valley, hitting for a low batting average (.219) with a whole lot of strikeouts (63) and homers (12). 

    He's slowed down some after a torrid start to May, but in 19 games this month he's hit .311 with eight home runs, two doubles, a triple and 19 RBIs. He has six walks and 23 strikeouts.

    Cozens was named International League Batter of the Week the second week of May, when he had two walk-off home runs and a game-tying, ninth-inning single.

    Cozens has made some improvements against left-handed pitching but he still has a long way to go. Six of his 12 homers this season are off lefties, but he's still hitting just .175 against same-handed pitching with five walks and 30 strikeouts.

    The more Triple A pitching he sees, the more comfortable he should become against veterans with good breaking balls and an actual plan on the mound. Keep in mind Cozens doesn't turn 23 until May 31.

    Cozens is on the 40-man roster and will probably get a look in September. It would seem unlikely that he'd get a call-up to replace an injured outfielder before then, a relevant topic given the minor injuries this last week to Michael Saunders and Daniel Nava.

    1B Rhys Hoskins (AAA)
    Hoskins is the one offensive prospect we feature regularly here who I'm confident will be up with the Phillies before September. He continues to impress not just as a power hitter but as a "hitter's hitter" - a guy who controls the strike zone and has few holes.

    As productive as Hoskins' April was, his May has been just as impressive. He hit .338 with six homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.063 OPS in April compared to .296 with six homers, 24 RBIs and a 1.045 OPS in May.

    Hoskins had a two-homer, five-RBI game last Thursday in a rare Lehigh Valley loss, which snapped the IronPigs' 12-game winning streak.

    In total this season he's hit .318 with 12 homers, 36 RBIs, nine doubles, two triples, 24 walks and 27 strikeouts. His consistent production could create an interesting scenario soon because if Tommy Joseph continues to hit, one of them could become a valuable trade piece that could bring back a starting pitcher. 

    In Hoskins and Joseph, the Phillies have two powerful, young, inexpensive first basemen who project to hit somewhere in the middle of the order. Why not use an organizational strength to improve an organizational weakness?

    Joseph has already shown he can hit for power at the major-league level, but Hoskins' upside seems higher because of his plate selection.

    SS J.P. Crawford (AAA)
    He's almost there. After 171 plate appearances, Crawford has nearly reached the Mendoza line.

    Crawford's multi-hit game Friday made him 10 for 25 over his last six games with a double, a homer, six RBIs, five walks and six strikeouts.

    He's raised his batting average this month from .145 to .186, and even when he's slumped he's taken his walks - 25 in 39 games.

    Crawford has hit .235 this month with a .358 on-base percentage. If his pitch recognition remains consistent when he reaches the majors - and keep in mind it's a skill he's shown at every rung of the minor-league ladder - it won't matter if he hits .260, he'd still be a valuable two-hole hitter.

    This is the hottest Crawford has been all season and the Phillies are hoping he can keep it up for at least another week or two.

    OF Roman Quinn (AAA)
    I wrote about Quinn at length on Monday, outlining the reasons why he should be called up by the Phillies (see story).

    Entering play Tuesday, he had hit .333 with a .424 OBP in May, fueling Lehigh Valley's surge by contributing at the top of the order.

    Quinn would, right now, be a defensive upgrade for the Phillies, and it's not as if Saunders has done a whole lot to keep his job anyway.

    OF Nick Williams (AAA)
    Williams has homered three times in his last six games. All three were solos, but one was a game-tying shot in the ninth inning and his home run the next day was a game-winner in the 10th.

    The ninth-inning bomb went to the opposite field and was off veteran big-league closer Joe Nathan. Both were good signs - that Williams' power can travel to left-center field and that he did it against a pitcher who's had a lot of success and experience.

    On the year, Williams is hitting .258 with an on-base percentage right around .300. He has six walks and 47 strikeouts. For the 700th time, that's a concern and it's probably always going to be there. To make a difference in the majors, the Phillies will need Williams to produce about 30-35 doubles and 15-20 homers per season. In that regard, the recent uptick in barreling balls is a promising development.

    2B Scott Kingery (AA)
    The most surprising storyline in the Phillies' farm system this season is Kingery's home run jump. The guy has 14 homers already before Memorial Day. He hit five last season.

    The quick assumption would be that Kingery is taking advantage of Reading's homer-friendly ballpark, but six of the 14 homers have come on the road.

    On the season, Kingery is hitting .290/.369/.665 with eight doubles, four triples, 14 homers, 28 RBIs, 17 walks and 31 strikeouts. He's also 9 for 10 in stolen base attempts. And he's committed one error all season.

    This has been a breakout year for Kingery, who will make the jump to Triple A in 2017 if this continues. 

    C Jorge Alfaro (AAA)
    Alfaro has been striking out a lot lately. He has 27 strikeouts and no walks - you read that right - in 70 plate appearances this month.

    His batting line has dropped to .281/.308/.410 with 10 extra-base hits in 146 plate appearances. 

    Like Williams, Alfaro is probably never going to show enough plate selection to be a true superstar. But there's some more confidence Alfaro will be able to hit in the majors, and if he can hit .260 with power and a strong arm behind the plate, that might be enough.

    RHP Sixto Sanchez (High A Clearwater)
    A stiff neck has kept Sanchez off the mound since our last Future Phillies Report, but he remains the Phillies' highest-upside pitching prospect and maybe their highest-upside prospect overall. 

    He has 28 strikeouts and three walks this season with a .211 opponents' batting average, and he still hasn't allowed a home run in 104 pro innings. He has a blazing fastball and above-average command, especially for an 18-year-old.