Tag Archives: Dylan Cozens

Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson moving across state to Phillies

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Outfielder Corey Dickerson moving across the state

In a deal first reported by ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan, the Philadelphia Phillies have acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In exchange, the Phillies will be sending international slot money to Pittsburgh.

Dickerson is a 30-year-old left-handed hitter (fields right-handed) who was the eighth round choice of the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Meridian Community College in his native Mississippi.
He debuted with the Rockies in the 2013 season, becoming their starting left fielder the following season. In January 2016, Dickerson was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays along with a prospect for pitcher German Marquez and Jake McGee.
With the Rays, Dickerson became the starting left fielder and a 2017 American League All-Star, blasting 51 home runs over the 2016-17 campaigns.
In February 2018, Dickerson was dealt to the Pirates for Daniel Hudson and a prospect. Last season in Pittsburgh, Dickerson won the National League Gold Glove Award for left fielders.
have acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for international signing bonus money and a player to be named later.

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This year, Dickerson injured his should in the first week and ending up spending more than two months on the Injured List. He returned and had put together a .317/.376/.556 slash line with four home runs, 18 doubles, 25 RBIs, and 20 runs scored over 141 plate appearances.
He left the Pirates series opener with the New York Mets this past Friday with a groin injury. But returning to the lineup on Tuesday night in Cincinnati, Dickerson blasted two home runs and drove in five during the Pirates brawl-filled victory over the Reds.
It has also been reported that the Phillies may send a player to be named later to Pittsburgh to complete the deal at a later date. In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Dickerson, the Phillies have DFA’d outfielder Dylan Cozens, who was out for the season after foot surgery back in May. Cozens will not likely be back with the Phillies next year.
Assuming he is fully healthy, Dickerson could start nearly every day for the Phillies in left field for the rest of this season. A free agent when the season ends, he is likely a two-month rental as the club tries to bolster their overall depth for a postseason run.

Dylan Cozens to have foot surgery that will jeopardize his 2019 season

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Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens career sidelined by foot surgery

The Philadelphia Phillies organization has lost an outfield prospect with big-league experience. It was announced today that Dylan Cozens, who has appeared in 27 games with the Phillies, will have foot surgery and miss the rest of the 2019 season.

Cozens, who turns 25-year-old on May 31, played in 26 games with the Phillies during the 2018 season. He slashed just .158/.273/.289 over 44 plate appearances, making eight starts. Half of those came over the final week of the regular season, after the Phillies had been eliminated from postseason contention.
On June 6 in just his third big-league game, Cozens blasted his lone home run to this point in Major League Baseball. That night at Wrigley Field against the host Chicago Cubs, Cozens drilled a two-run homer off closer Brandon Morrow in the top of the 9th inning to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead.
Cozens was called up briefly this season and appeared in one game on April 26. He grounded out weakly to second base as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 7th inning of a Phillies 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
OF Dylan Cozens (foot surgery) done for the season

Slashed .167/.333/.462 with 6 HRs, 20 BBs, 42 Ks in 23 games with @IronPigs

The Phillies second round pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school in his native Arizona, Cozens became a sensation in the 2016 season at Double-A Reading. That year he blasted 40 home runs and stole 21 bases, teaming with current Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins (38 homers) to form the most powerful combo of hitters in all of Minor League Baseball.
But Reading has always been known as a tremendous hitters park. While Hoskins developed into an all-around strong hitter, Cozens regressed the following year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He would strike out more than 500 times over the 2016-18 seasons combined, stunting his ability to reach the majors. Cozens has struck out in more than half of his plate appearances with the Phillies when given an opportunity.

Cozens will have no minor league options remaining when the 2020 season opens, so this could very well mark the end of his time in the Phillies organization. He will look to recover and rehabilitate himself, and then make a decision on where his career is headed during the next off-season.

Phillies need to play Nick Williams regularly or send him to the minors

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Nick Williams has been wasting away on the Phillies bench

The Philadelphia Phillies did much over the last off-season to upgrade their starting lineup and overall roster. All of the free agent signings and trades have been covered here many times. But a pair of moves and the way in which the club has chosen to handle their fallout seems highly questionable.

On December 12, 2018 the Phillies signed free agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen with the stated purpose of playing him every day as the starting left fielder. The 32-year-old McCutchen is a former National League Most Valuable Player and perennial All-Star who was given a three-year deal taking him through the 2021 season with a team option for the 2022 campaign.
Then on March 2, 2019 the Phillies made the big move which was anticipated for the entire off-season when they signed 26-year-old Bryce Harper to a free agent contract. The massive 13-year deal made another former National League Most Valuable Player and perennial All-Star the everyday right fielder for the foreseeable future.
The bottom-line result of these two signings is that, given health, the corner outfield positions are locked up in the Phillies lineup for the next three seasons, possibly more. Primarily affected by the moves were the present and future of incumbent outfielders Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr.
The signings are not as damaging to Altherr for a few reasons. The two biggest are that his upside potential is not as great as Williams. And he also has the athletic ability and experience to play center field, meaning Altherr provides some value to the Phillies on the bench as a player who can cover the entire outfield as a defensive substitute.
For the 25-year-old Williams, however, the signings of the two veterans clearly threw up a roadblock to his playing time with the Phillies. The club was faced with a choice as the 2019 season opened: keep Williams for their bench at the big-league level or send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to play every day.
The Phillies brain trust made the decision to keep Williams. It was the wrong choice. To this point in the season, a player who still has the potential to become a starter in Major League Baseball is wasting away.
Williams has received just 21 plate appearances scattered across 20 games. He has not started a single game and has appeared in the field just twice. The second of those came in Tuesday night’s 9-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets.
Aaron Altherr has been impacted by the new signings as well. But his situation is different than the younger, higher-upside Williams. (Ian D’Andrea)
To this point, manager Gabe Kapler has called upon the left-handed bat of Williams as a pinch-hitter on 18 occasions. He has just two hits and one walk in that role.
Williams has just two productive hits on the season. With the team trailing 10-1 in the 9th inning at Miami on April 13, his lone extra-base hit of the year plated two runs. That did not come as a pinch-hitter, as he had entered the game the prior inning and flew out in his official pinch-hit appearance.
Back on April 3 in Washington, Williams delivered an RBI pinch-hit single in the top of the 4th inning. His only other hit all year has been a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 4th inning on April 15. All three of his hits have come in Phillies losses.
As a 23-year-old rookie in 2017, Williams hit .288 with 12 homers, 30 extra-base hits, and 55 RBIs in just 343 plate appearances. Last year he spent mostly as the lefty-hitting half of a right field platoon with the righty bat of Altherr. In 448 plate appearances, Williams provided 17 homers, 32 extra-base hits, and 50 RBIs.
Williams is now snared in the proverbial catch-22 situation where he would likely play more if he could produce more but cannot produce more because he is not getting enough opportunities to get into a groove.
It has already been determined by the organization that Williams is not a center field option. He simply doesn’t have the range or instincts to cover that position. So they are not going to make a major defensive sacrifice at the pivotal position by putting him there over, say, Roman Quinn.
The Phillies are also not going to move McCutchen to center, where he once won a 2012 NL Gold Glove, and let Williams play left. The veteran is on record as not wanting to play center field on a regular basis at this point in his career, and made that known before the club signed him.
The problem with all of this is that Williams, given a shot to become a full-time starter, could easily become a 25 homer, 80 RBI corner outfielder for some team. That has some value. The Phillies could use him as a trade chip later in the summer, especially if he were to get hot and look like even more than that to another club.
But Williams, sitting on the bench in a Phillies uniform and getting a few pinch-hit appearances each week, is never going to show any value to anyone. He is also not going to be developing his own game further, improving under the experience of facing various types of pitching in varied situations and handling a defensive position under a variety of circumstances.
Even if the Phillies have no intention of putting Williams on the trade market at any point, he could be valuable to them as a player capable of stepping in and playing every day should some major injury strike either McCutchen or Harper, knocking one of the starters from the lineup for a length of time.
The best way for Williams to continue developing as a player, show value to other organizations as a potential trade chip, and be ready to step right in to replace McCutchen or Harper should an injury strike would be for him to play every day. The only way for that to happen is for the Phillies to send him down to the minor leagues.
The Phillies have players with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs who could come up and fill the current deep bench role of Williams. Those options include veterans Shane Robinson and Sean Rodriguez, and the lefty bat of Dylan Cozens. None has the upside of Williams. They’re development would not be stunted by sitting on the Phillies bench.
Williams has two minor league options remaining. He needs to be sent to Triple-A immediately. That is clearly what is best for both the player and the Phillies organization. There is absolutely no reason for the move to not be made today. It makes no sense to continue grossly neglecting such an asset.

Phillies have used 11 center fielders in this Graperfuit League season

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Adam Haseley has seen center field action this spring

The announced starting lineup for the Philadelphia Phillies for the Saturday afternoon March 16 game at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida against the visiting Houston Astros included 24-year-old Dylan Cozens in center field.

The start for Cozens is his second of spring training in center field, the last coming back on March 6 in Dunedin against the host Toronto Blue Jays.
For these tune-up games down in Florida the Phillies have utilized 11 different players at the crucial center field position. None of them has been named Odubel Herrera. The starter at the position for the last four years has been sidelined by injury. He will make his first start today, serving as the Designated Hitter.
Herrera had entered the spring in a head-to-head competition for the starting center field job with 25-year-old Roman Quinn. However, the speedy Quinn suffered yet another in a series of injuries which have repeatedly set his career back. He got to make just one start, in the Grapefruit League opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
With both Herrera and Quinn out of commission the Phillies have leaned heavily on three players. Aaron Altherr has received nine starts in center and is the only player to start out there on back-to-back days, having done so on both February 27th and 28th.
The other two players who have seen stead action in center field are a pair of prospects. 22-year-old Adam Haseley has made four starts and come on as a substitute in three others. 20-year-old Mickey Moniak made one start and came on as a sub a half-dozen times.
Haseley is one of just two who have played a full game in center field all spring. He did so for the split-squad game on the road against the Detroit Tigers on March 7.
The other player to go a full game in center was Lane Adams. The 29-year-old who has three years of big-league experience is here as a non-roster invitee. He also played a full split-squad road game, that one on March 14 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That was Adams lone start. He has also appeared in three more games out in center as a substitute.

McCutchen was a center field fixture and former Gold Glover with Pittsburgh but did not play the position at all in 2018. (TonyTheTiger/WikiCommons)
Andrew McCutchen (2) and Scott Kingery (3) have made the remaining starts out in center field thus far for the Phillies. Veteran non-roster invitee Shane Robinson has come on as a substitute three times while prospects Matt Vierling and Simon Muzziotti have done so twice each.
Quinn began running again this past week as he begins to recover from an oblique strain. The Phillies are likely to be cautious with him. You can probably expect that Quinn will begin the season on the Injured List or at extended spring training.
Assuming that Herrera has no setbacks in his recovery from a hamstring strain, he is likely to begin seeing the bulk of the starts in center field in preparation for the March 28 regular season opener. As long as he can continue to get regular plate appearances from this point, fans should expect to see him on Opening Day.
The injuries to Herrera and Quinn combined with Friday’s loss, at least temporarily, of right fielder Bryce Harper are opening up playing time opportunities others. Altherr, Kingery and Cozens would likely become the primary options if any or all of those injuries linger into or re-surface during the early parts of the regular season.
Fans have wondered about giving Nick Williams, who made 16 appearances back in 2017 out in center field, some of the playing time there. Phillies coaches have evaluated Williams now for more than three years, and the decision has been made that he is not an acceptable option at the position. Perhaps that would change in an absolute emergency where multiple others were injured, but for now he will remain as only a corner outfielder.
Harper has played 184 games during his career in center field, 63 of those just last year. He is certainly athletic enough to slide over in an emergency as well but is already on record as saying that right field is by far his best and most comfortable position. Early last week, Harper was quoted by Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia:
“I know I was terrible last year in center field. I feel like if I can stay out of center field, that’d be great. Wherever they need me to play, I’ll play, whether it’s center or left. But for me, leg-wise, keeping my legs and body fresh, right field is hopefully gonna be the spot.”
McCutchen was a Gold Glove Award winning center fielder during his younger NL MVP years in Pittsburgh. However, he did not play in center at all last season. He is another who could do it in a pinch for a short time, but the Phillies signed him to be their everyday left fielder.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com quoted Kapler on his outfield situation following the Harper signing:
Assuming everybody was healthy, the expectation would be that Quinn and Altherr and Nick Williams would start on our roster, but that may not be possible given the current construction and the addition of Harper. It’s kind of a wait-and-see thing at this point.
That “wait-and-see” has been particularly true in center field Herrera returns now and Quinn will eventually rehab and recover. Those two are still likely to see the bulk of time for the Phillies in the coming season with Altherr as a primary backup option.
The thought that either Haseley or Moniak will ultimately reach or exceed their potential and one day develop into the long-term starting center fielder may be the current long-term Plan A. The unspoken ‘Plan B’ could involve a man from Millville, New Jersey who currently plays on the west coast.

Dylan Cozens heats up early under the Florida sun in big-league bid

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Dylan Cozens needs to cut down his strikeouts to stay in MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies have made significant improvements to their overall roster for the 2019 season. Two of those upgrades came in the starting outfield, where former NL MVP’s Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper now hold down the left and right field corners respectively.

Center field was supposed to feature an open competition between Odubel Herrera and Roman Quinn. Injuries to both players have left the position a bit of a question mark. It is expected that Herrera will be available sooner, and for now he appears to be the odds-on favorite to open the season starting between McCutchen and Harper.
That would seem to leave a pair of returnees, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams, as likely bench performers. The 25-year-old Williams saw 448 plate appearances across 140 games as the starting right fielder a year ago. It was just two years ago that the now 28-year-old Altherr made 92 starts in the outfield.
With just over three weeks remaining in Grapefruit League action down in Florida, much could still change for the Phillies. Injuries and even further trades by the front office could alter the player mix before the club heads north for the season opener on March 28 at Citizens Bank Park.
Another factor in determining which players make the Opening Day roster will be performance here at spring training. That is where 24-year-old Dylan Cozens comes into the picture. After receiving his first cup of coffee in the big-leagues during the 2018 season, Cozens is hoping to force his way into the mix down in Clearwater.
Last season, Cozens appeared in the first 26 games of his Major League Baseball career. He played in 14 games split between the two corner outfield positions with the Phillies, getting eight starting opportunities. Over 44 plate appearances he slashed .158/.273/.289 with three extra-base hits and one stolen base.
On June 6 at Wrigley Field against the host Chicago Cubs, Cozens blasted his first career big-league home run. In the top of the 9th with the score tied at 3-3 and facing closer Brandon Morrow, Cozens ripped a 2-1 pitch out deep on a line to left field for a two-run blast to put the Phillies on top.
During his seven-year minor league career after being drafted by the Phillies in the second round back in 2012, Cozens had developed as a major power-speed force, drilling 126 home runs and swiping 100 bags.
During the 2016 season at Double-A Reading, Cozens blasted 40 home runs. He teamed with current Phillies star Rhys Hoskins, who ripped 38 long balls that year, to form the most formidable 1-2 power combination in the minor leagues. Of course, it is well known that Reading is one of the friendliest hitting environments in all of professional baseball.

But his 849 strikeouts, 504 of those over the last three seasons at the highest levels, reveal the significant holes in his swing. Cozens struck out in more than 34% of his plate appearances over the last three years between Double-A and Triple-A.
Cozens plays solid outfield defense. He made just three errors while playing more than 1,600 innings at Triple-A Lehigh Valley over the last two seasons. He committed none during his 77.2 defensive innings with the Phillies.
During the early weeks of this 2019 Grapefruit League campaign it has been so-far, so-good for Cozens. He is off to a fast start, slashing .500/.611/1.071 in his first 14 at-bats with two homers, two doubles, five RBI, five runs scored, and a stolen base. His four strikeouts over 18 plate appearances make for a more acceptable 22% rate.

In order to find a lasting role with the Phillies or as part of any other big-league roster he is going to have to learn to make more consistent contact. Otherwise he could find the “4A” labelhung on him: good enough to play well at Triple-A, but not good enough to succeed in the Majors.

The Phillies outfield picture appears to be crowded, but injuries have opened some playing time opportunities for the time being. Cozens needs to take advantage and continue to show improvement in his game. If he does so, he could force the club’s decision-makers into some difficult choices at the end of the month.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as Off to a hot start, Dylan Cozens shooting for a big-league role