The 2013 season was a fascinating breakout year for Phillies, now set-up eight inning reliever, Ken Giles. In mid season with the Clearwater Threshers that year we watched him go down on the mound after throwing a pitch with an oblique injury. By the end of the Arizona Fall League last year he had broken out and became one of the best relievers in baseball in the 2014 season.
He was the only pitcher in baseball to dominate three leagues in a single season: the Eastern League in April, the International League in May and by mid season, the National League.
Do the Phillies have any prospect who could come close to the breakout year of Giles in the field or on the mound starting now with Fall and Winter Ball getting underway? So far no Phillies prospects have stood out the way Giles did in the AFL last year.
We have seen up and downs with Aaron Altherr who hit two quick home runs to start the Venezuelan Winter League then this past week he has gone one for nine and has not done much offensively.
Darin Ruf got off to a good start in his first game in the Dominican League going 2 for 3 with a homer but then went 1 for 8 in the next two games.
Roman Quinn had a 4 for 5 game in the Arizona Fall League but is hitting only .250 with only one extra base hit in his first nine games. He does lead the league in steals though with seven.
The Phillie pitchers in the AFL have been mostly ineffective and Ethan Stewart appears to be unavailable to pitch in recent games. So not much there so far.
We might have to wait until the start of Australian Baseball League to find a break out prospect. November 7th is the date of the first game for the Melbourne Aces of the ABL. One of the Phillies top five tool outfielders Dylan Cozens is schedule to make his debut “down under” in that game. He is already creating a buzz down there. See HERE.
Cozens had an OK year for the Lakewood BluClaws this season but he can do better. His 16 home runs trailed only Art Charles who had 19 long balls with Clearwater among left handed hitters in the Phillies system. He did steal 23 bases in 30 attempts but had only an average .717 OPS and only hit .160 with two outs and runners in scoring position in the SAL.
More is expected the from big 6’6″, second round draft pick from the 2012 draft. Cozens will play most of next season at baseball 21. The big right fielder can move up in the system quickly if he can break out in the ABL this Fall. He will likely start off the 2015 season in the Florida State League just like Giles did in 2013.
Perhaps not moving up as quickly as ” 100 miles Giles” did this season on the mound but Dylan Cozens has the potential to make it to the friendly confines of Reading’s ballpark by the second half of next season. His his long ball numbers might take off there just like they did for Ryan Howard when he hit 37 homers in 102 games at AA back in 2004.