I have not seen the Phillies A teams play other than intrasquad games until Tuesday. But it was well worth my wait as Manager Mickey Morandini had an interesting lineup playing on Schmidt Field against the Pirates A ball farmhands. In the fifth and six spots in the lineup he had two of the tallest position players in camp in two left-handed hitting 6’6″ players, 22 year old first baseman Art Charles and 18 year old DH Dylan Cozens who normally plays in right. Both of them look more like they would be just as comfortable on a football field as a baseball field but they showed they know hit to hit a baseball and far. Charles lifted one high in the sky that I thought was out to right but the wind blowing in from left center held it up as it dropped at the fence for a double. Later in the game Cozens lined a home run over the left center field fence, wind or no wind. It just kept going and going out as it cleared the fence. Bet not too many other organizations can bat two 6’6” guys who weigh close to 230 lbs with that kind of power back to back in any lineup.
I have been very impressed with Charles who the Phillies picked up in the Michael Schwimer trade from the Blue Jays. In addition to his long ball Tuesday he made a nice scoop of a low throw at first. He is very athletic and since he is older than Cozens he will likely windup in Lakewood or Clearwater. I have always been high on Cozens after I first saw him drive a ball for the GCL Phillies for a long walk off single just to the left of the batters eye at Ashburn Field and then hitting a towering home run to right in Instructs last year at the Blue Jays field. Because of his age he will likely either open the season with Lakewood or extended spring training and then to Williamsport in the short season NY-Penn League. He looks ready for the SAL to me.
Other players who caught my eye in Tuesday’s game for Morandini was Andrew Pullin and his continuing development at second base. He has a quick bat with pop but in the field he made a nice turn on a 6-4-3 double play and laid out trying to knock down a ground ball base hit to his left in the hole. Pitcher Austin Wright was the designated bunter and laid down a couple of successful sacrifice bunts as he gets ready to bat for the first time in his career for Reading. Catcher Josh Ludy, batting clean up, drove a hard hit ball through the hole between short and third for a rbi single. Nick Hanson, a 6’7″ Ryan Madson look a like, impressed me in his work on the mound in relief. Over on Ashburn Field, Mitch Walding had a couple of extra base hits for manager Chris Truby’s team. I would expect Walding to be the starting third baseman for Lakewood when the season begins. Joe Savery and Tyler Knigge each put in a scoreless inning of work there. A likely Clearwater starting pitcher Colin Kleven worked the first several innings.
However in my mind I will never forget the left-handed pop of Art Charles and Dylan Cozens in Tuesday’s game. They looked like major league power hitting prospects to me who will be making names for themselves with the long ball as they work their way up the Phillies farm system .