The Philadelphia Phillies are in the midst of a four-game skid and their minor league affiliates, for the most part, are also struggling. Over the past few years, we've seen prospects rise through the system and make it to Philadelphia with mixed results. One of the guys to hit the ground running when he got to Philadelphia was Rhys Hoskins. The former first base prospect tore his way through Reading and Lehigh Valley before bursting onto the scene in 2017 for the Phillies. During Hoskins' time in the minors, his power partner in crime was outfielder Dylan Cozens. The duo combined to hit 78 homers in 2016 with Double-A Reading before launching 54 in Lehigh Valley in 2017 prior to Rhys getting called up.
On Wednesday morning, during Lehigh Valley's morning game against Syracuse, Cozens displayed his power at the plate by launching three long balls to lead the Ironpigs past the Chiefs, 8-6.
Ranked as the 11th best prospect in the Phillies organization by MLB Pipeline, Cozens has shown some improvement in the ability to take walks this season, upping his base on balls percentage by over five points. He has also found a way the increase his strikeout rate though, with his 2018 percentage up nearly three points from 2017 at this point in the year. According to Brent Hersey of BaseballHQ, Cozens' three homer game will stand out to many on the box score, but it's worth noting that the hits were all on mistake fastballs. While it's good to see him taking advantage of mistakes, seeing him be able to develop into a somewhat consistent inside zone ball hitter would be a plus.
Cozens leads the International League in home runs and is the first Ironpig in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. Overall this season, Cozens is slashing .278/.385/.557 with six home runs, 15 RBIs, 35 strikeouts and 14 walks.