Phillies Honor Top Minor Leaguers Cozens, Hoskins, Lively

The Phillies put an extra 78 home runs and 18 wins on the field Tuesday night.
No, they didn’t make a late-season blockbuster deal.
Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins and Ben Lively were in town to receive the Paul Owens Award as top performers in the team’s minor-league system this season.
Cozens and Hoskins combined for 78 homers and 241 RBIs in helping the Double A Reading Fightin Phils post the second-best record in all of minor-league baseball. They shared the position-player award.
Lively went 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.938 WHIP in 28 starts between Reading and Triple A Lehigh Valley. He won the pitcher’s award.
The Phillies’ lineup Tuesday night featured Roman Quinn in left field, Tommy Joseph at first base, Aaron Altherr in right field and Jake Thompson on the mound. All four of those players, as well as several others on the Phils’ roster, were in the minor leagues at some point this season.
“We’re starting to see these guys here and guys we’ve played against coming up through the minor leagues that are with other organizations in the big leagues,” Hoskins said. “Hopefully we’re next.”
Hoskins, a 23-year-old first baseman, and Cozens, a 22-year-old rightfielder, put on a nightly power display for Reading. Cozens led all of minor-league baseball with 40 homers and 125 RBIs. Hoskins hit 38 homers and drove in 116 runs.
“We definitely fed off each other, I’d say,” Hoskins said. “Hitting is contagious. I think the whole lineup kind of did that all year.”
Hoskins does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster this offseason. It would seem likely that he’d get a look in big-league spring training camp before heading off to Triple A next season. He plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
Cozens and Lively will both be protected on the 40-man roster later this fall.
Many eyes will be on Cozens in camp next spring. Not only does the 6-6, 250-pound slugger have huge power from the left side, he stole 20 bases and hit .276.
“I wish I was on that side right now,” said Cozens, looking from the dugout out toward the field. “It’s definitely probably not too far away. I’m excited to hopefully be here next year.
“It’s not my call, but if I play as good as I know I can I think it should happen for sure.”
Cozens will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and he hopes to see plenty of left-handed pitching. That is a shortcoming in his game. He hit just .197 (25 for 127) against lefties this season. Phillies officials would also like to see Cozens cut down on his strikeouts (186) in an effort to become a more complete player.
“I’d say the area I need to improve on the most is not chasing balls out of the strike zone,” Cozens said. “So I do think I can cut down on the strikeouts.”
Lively, 24, was Cincinnati’s minor-league player of the year in 2014. He was traded to the Phillies for Marlon Byrd after that season. He went 8-7 with a 4.13 ERA at Double A Reading in 2015. That wasn’t good enough to earn a promotion, so he started this season back at Double A and pitched himself to Triple A with a 1.87 ERA in nine starts.
“It was kind of a reality check,” Lively said of returning to Double A. “That kind of kicked it into another gear for me.”
Lively was not a candidate for a September call-up because he reached his innings limit – 170 2/3 innings.
He will get a chance to show he belongs in spring training.

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