Sometimes it may take only one game or one month but it’s fun watching prospects break out. For Lakewood’s right fielder Dylan Cozens last night it could be one game. He went 4 for 5 with two solo home runs and three RBIs. In the last Clearwater Threshers game it was right fielder Brian Pointer, not Cliff Lee, who impressed. He homered to left to continued his break out second half which started with a break out month in June when he hit .370 for the month.
I have alway been a big fan of Cozens ever since watching him in the GCL in the 2012 season and each spring minor league camp since he was signed as a second round draft selection in the 2012 draft. He has been struggling with Lakewood hitting only .246 this season.
Still he has shown at times his great potential this season with his organizational leading 13 home runs, going 16 for 19 in stolen base attempts and his 7 outfield assists. He has a chance for the rare outfielder’s “triple-double”, double digits in homers, assists and stolen bases. Last year Cozens played only in the short season NewYork-Penn League but still managed to hit 9 homer, stole 11 bases and picked up 4 assists. Only two Phillies minor league outfielders accomplished the “triple-double” in 2013.
Not to be out done, I have become more and more impressed with the play of the Clearwater Threshers right fielder Brian Pointer this season. Pointer started off slowly hitting only .214 with three homers in the first half of the Florida State League season. But he has been on a tear in the second half hitting 6 home runs to bring his total to 9 for the season in addition to hitting well over .300. He just might be forcing his way on the 40 man major league roster at the end of the season because of the Rule Five draft.
Pointer has a rocket for an arm and has picked up 7 assists this season including three in his 12 games in centerfield. He also has speed on the base paths stealing 6 times in 10 attempts. Last year in Lakewood he stole 22 bases in 29 attempts, had 10 assists but hit only 6 home runs.
It’s amazing how similar the 20-year old Cozens and the 22-year old Pointer match up in skill sets. They both bat and throw left handed, have great arms, can run the bases and can hit the long ball. They are both hitting around .250 for the season. They do have differences though. The 6’6″Cozens was a high draft pick while the 6’0″ Pointer was a 28th round pick in the 2010 draft. Cozens has committed 6 errors while Pointer has yet to be charged with an error this season.
They both are major league prospects if they can just hit consistently for a higher average. But they can’t both play right field at the same time for the Phillies. The question is do the Phillies need two more left handed bats in the lineup down the road in the outfield? Reminds me of the current battle with the Phillies between Cody Asche and Maikel Franco as to which one of them will be the third baseman of the future.
In any event for the final six weeks of the minor league season, it will be fun to watch Cozens and Pointer to see which one of them finishes the strongest and to see if both of them can become Phillies outfielders of the future.