Former Phillies outfielder retires to pursue NFL career originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Former Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday and declared his plans to pursue a career in the NFL.
Cozens, a giant at 6-foot-6/245 pounds is still just 27 years old. He was a hot prospect in the Phillies’ farm system in 2016 when he hit 40 home runs at Double A Reading. Cozens and Rhys Hoskins were referred to that summer as the Bash Brothers and were the top power bats in the Eastern League from the left and right side. Cozens had 40 and 125, Hoskins had 38 and 116.
Hoskins was up in the majors and a regular in the Phillies’ lineup by the middle of the next season. Cozens remained in the minors to work on reducing his strikeout rate and improving against left-handed pitching, but he was unable to replicate the 2016 success or hit enough to put himself in position for a role in the majors. He appeared in 26 games with the 2018 Phillies and hit .158 with his only home run at Wrigley Field. He also made a perfect throw home from deep left field in that series but the out call was overturned when it was determined Andrew Knapp blocked the plate.
Cozens had one at-bat in 2019 and that was it for his big-league career. He went on to sign with the Rays and Brewers but did not appear in the majors.
Cozens was a defensive end in high school and had a scholarship to play football at the University of Arizona. He signed with the Phillies instead after being drafted in the second round in 2012 and offered a signing bonus of just under $660,000.