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Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens hits 3 home runs for Lehigh Valley

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The Iron Pigs’ hulking outfielder did something no other player had done in team history.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We have known the power of Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs outfielder Dylan Cozens is real. After all, he’s the size of two regular-sized 1980s baseball players combined. But his inability to hit left-handed pitching and huge strikeout numbers have prevented him from joining his former minor league teammates at the big league level thus far.

In the team’s 8-6 win over Syracuse in Allentown today, Cozens did something no Iron Pigs player had ever done before.

Cozens came into the game with three long balls in his first 92 plate appearances, and was hitting .253/.370/.427 with 13 runs, 11 RBIs and six steals. Of course, those numbers look a little different now.

Through the season’s first month, Cozens has increased his walk rate from 10.7% last year to 15.2%, but has seen his already massive strikeout rate increase from 35.8% to 37.0%.

Interestingly, Cozens has actually fared better against left-handed pitching than right-handed this year. In 33 PAs against southpaws, Cozens is hitting .261/.424/.435 for an OPS of .859, while against righties he’s batting .250/.339/.423 for a .762 OPS.

Last year he hit .194/.291/.367 (.658 OPS) against left-handers.

Cozens, who is still just 23 years old, was a top-10 Phillies prospect until he struggled last year in AAA, with an OPS of just .719. And from those who saw his three-homer game, his bombs appear to have come on mistake pitches.

Nevertheless, hitting mistake pitches for long home runs is a skill, and if Cozens can show progress in reducing his strikeout rate and some of the other areas of concern, perhaps he can re-emerge as a top prospect once again.

Because as he showed today, the power is real.