DUNEDIN, Fla. - The real test awaits this summer, when the triple-A schedule is most grueling, and the so-called Bash Brothers are faced with some sort of adversity. A few at-bats in meaningless Grapefruit League games? Those are for dreams.
But that will not stop Phillies manager Pete Mackanin from liking what he has seen from Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens, the two sluggers who dominated at double-A Reading a season ago and have elicited mixed scouting reports.
Cozens played the entirety of a 10-3 win Sunday over Toronto at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He singled, walked, stole two bases, and struck out three times. Hoskins entered later and walked in both of his plate appearances.
"I was told he has a real good idea at the plate," Mackanin said of Hoskins. "And he sure looks like that. He has a nice, soft approach. He looks like he's really under control. That's good to see. "
The two prospects combined for 78 regular-season homers at Reading. But they were prone to failure against good breaking balls and feasted at Reading's hitting-friendly park.
A few productive months at triple-A Lehigh Valley will change the narrative.
Cozens, listed at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, stole 21 bases and was caught just once last season. He does not resemble the prototypical base-stealer, but he is known for getting good jumps.
"He's got potential to steal some bases," Mackanin said. "The key is when they know you can run they bear down on you. But still, you've got to like his tools."
"He can move," fellow outfield prospect Nick Williams said. "He might be an NFL D-end."
Cozens, of course, was recruited as a defensive end by former University of Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez. He shunned football for baseball. The Phillies paid the second-round pick a $659,800 bonus.
"He's really an athletic guy," Mackanin said. "He's got good hands at the plate. I think he's going to hit because he doesn't have a lot of excess body movement."