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A behind-the-scenes look at Dylan Cozens and the MLB draft

Posted by on June 6, 2012 – 1:48 pm

The winding, complicated journey for Chaparral outfielder Dylan Cozens ended on Tuesday when he was the 77th pick of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

The interesting part, though, is how he got there.

Cozens’ senior season couldn’t have gone much better, as a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Firebirds to a 5-3 win over Brophy in the Division I baseball title game.

He finished the year with a .520 average, 19 home runs and 52 RBIs, with an on-base percentage of .591 and a slugging percentage of 1.240. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, he seems to have the type of frame that can produce power on the professional level.

However, national publications and scouts did not seem overly thrilled with his draft prospects. Baseball America did not list Cozens among its 500 top players eligible for the draft, and he made the Arizona watch list as a pitcher, not a position player. Additionally, Cozens said he had no contact at all from five major league teams, so clearly a few organizations had no plans on drafting him.

There are reasons why Cozens was seen as a risky selection:

* He signed a scholarship to play football and baseball at Arizona. Cozens’ dad, Randy, played in the NFL, and Dylan showed flashes of becoming a difference-maker at defensive end. “Football was out there because he signed and did well, so they’re thinking, ‘Ahh, he’s going to go play football,’” Randy Cozens said.

* At 6-foot-5, Cozens profiles as a corner outfielder or a first baseman. That means he’s going to have to really mash the ball in the minor leagues because he will be playing at a premium offensive position. Some scouts worry about his swing getting too long and how it will translate to the professional level.

* Then, of course, there is the controversy surrounding Cozens’ transfer from Desert Mountain to Chaparral last year. According to sources, Cozens was kicked off the Desert Mountain team  midway through the season, with the caveat that he could return as a senior if he met certain guidelines. But Randy wanted to find a place for Dylan to play immediately and took him to Chaparral. “My deal, as a father, I knew that your junior year sets up your senior year.,” he said. “These guys that went high, (Hamilton third baseman) Mitch Nay and all of them, they were showcased (over the summer) and had great junior years. (Dylan) didn’t have that. That’s why I made a beeline over here, trying to keep him playing. We came over here and we were hearing rumors that even these parents weren’t all that receptive. ‘Who is this kid? Who does he think he is? He thinks he’s going to come in here and take my kid’s spot?’ We weren’t welcomed by open arms. We said, you know what? We’ll sit this one out. So he just went and worked out.” Cozens was ruled ineligible for a calendar year and missed the second half of his junior season. Between the lack of visibility and the concerns about his makeup, it was enough for some teams to look elsewhere.

And while some organizations had no interest in Cozens, the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees were all intrigued. He worked out for Philadelphia and Texas over the weekend and then waited to see what would happen. He wasn’t selected in the first or supplemental rounds on Monday, but was chosen by the Phillies in the second round on Tuesday morning. Cozens was the second high schooler from Arizona taken, behind Nay, who went No. 58 overall.

Cozens has made it clear he intends to sign and forgo his scholarship to Arizona. And while he ended up in a pretty good situation with Philadelphia, he won’t soon forget the perceived slights he received from other major league teams.

“You’re not going to say I’m this really good player unless you’re out there watching me,” Cozens said. “I feel like (a lot of teams) missed out on me.”

In turn, Cozens believes Philadelphia will give him a clean slate, and he’s ready to repay that trust.

“They don’t care what anybody else thinks,” he said. “That’s good. That’s what I want.”

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  • AZobserver says:

    “We came over here and we were hearing rumors that even these parents weren’t all that receptive. ‘Who is this kid? Who does he think he is? He thinks he’s going to come in here and take my kid’s spot?’ We weren’t welcomed by open arms.”

    Probably because the other parents were worried that the out of control kid (Dylan Cozens) would beat the crap out of their kids since they’d heard all about his roid rage. Heard he only got suspended from school once though while he was at Chaparral, (threw a kid’s head through a wall). Good to see he was rewarded for it.

  • AZ Proud says:

    Roid rage, you sound like a disgruntled jealous parent that wants to make excuses for their kid not living up to your expectations.And you obviously don’t know Dylan Cozens and Dylan’s work ethic.Theres a lot of lazy kids out there that think their the best, and all they need to do is show up.Try working out with Dylan once and see what it takes to be a winner, not a whiner! You don’t need steroids just a little hard work and determination,and genetics also helps! He’s the real deal started back in Little League!

  • AZobserver says:

    You’re right I don’t know him very well, but my son sure did before Dylan was kicked off the Desert Mountain team. I’m also close friends with some of the Chaparral parents, who told me their sons accepted him to the team. However, they also said he was the laziest player when it came to defensive drills, which showed in the routine popups he dropped and terrible routs during the season.

  • rick cozens says:

    he who cast the first stone must be that perfect person we have been looking for. if you would know dylan personally you would not be making these accusations about him. it was obvious that your comments were based on heresay. please dont judge me for my gramer and spelling. I know it will make you feel good.

  • AZ Proud says:

    Your son obviously didn’t play with Dylan at Desert Mountain because the ones that played with Dylan wouldn’t be bad mouthing him and have the utmost respect for Dylan.And that’s both Desert mountain and Chaparral team mates.Any one that knows Dylan knows how hard he works out.You sound like a scorned mom that thinks her kid is better than Dylan.You know the old saying, that’s only a face a mother could love !And there’s only one person that would bring up dropped balls.If you are who I think you are I’ll remind you, last summer Dylan played right field not left and also played two other sports at the same time.And played with the Chaparral base ball team over the summer not with any other club teams.Dylan along with Austin singer were the two fasted kids on the chaparral team .Dylan one the 1st race against Austin and Austin one the second race being a 60 yd dash.Dylan stands 6’6″ 240 pds and gives up about 60 pounds to Austin Singer.But you wouldn’t know that.Out fielders need to be fast to chase down balls. Dylan is exceptionally fast especially for a big man. As far as Dylan dropping catches he dropped two all season. Who’s keeping track, you, why? It’s really sad that a parent on the Chaparral team would throw cheap shots at one of the Chaparral players.Especially Dylan and what he accomplished. Maybe you don’t have respect for Dylan but the Phillie’s do! Google Phillie’s grade top 25 draft picks!

  • AZobserver says:

    There’s a big difference between a kid’s character and physical build. I’m not really sure who you think I am, but it sounds like you have a bone to pick with the Chap parents. I’m just interested, but if the Desert Mountain players have so much respect for Dylan why did they vote him off the team? His 60 times are irrelevant. Sorry that I’m not a fan of Chaparral’s corruption when it comes to the AIA and transfers.

  • AZ Proud says:

    If your kid played he would have known the situation.The kids voted twice and the 1st vote was in favor of Dylan 14 to 3. I won’t mention who the three were. And then Coach Rice made them vote again.Allot of the parents were upset with Rice over the way he handled it. Rice is gone, what does that tell you.The Desert Mountain base ball team was a dysfunctional team because of the coaches.The coaches had no intention in kicking Dylan off the team.They just wanted to teach Dylan a lesson and make it seem like it was the boy’s not the coaches, because he stood up to Coach Web . You don’t kick a kid off the team for standing face to face with another kid, no punches were thrown.John Web over reacted and grabbed Dylan from behind horse collaring Dylan backwards violently to separate the two players.And Dylan pushed Web back and Web like a big kid called Dylan a real peace of ……….. and Dylan responded back.Dylan took himself out of the game and then cooled off and asked to go back in.At this time the team was down a run and Coach Rice didn’t have a problem with Dylan going back in the game, and said I never took you out .Dylan had hit a home run his 1st a bat and had hit 5 home runs in 4 games leading up to that game and had only played a total of twelve games missing the first 6 games because he was playing basketball where they made it all the way to the semi finals.The kid that got into a stand off with Dylan wasn’t even playing in the game started the altercation with Dylan. After the game the following day Dylan heard rumors that he was being voted off the team and asked Coach Rice what was going on. And Rice said the coaches wanted to keep Dylan on but the team mates wanted him off. This was Saturday the day after.Now its Sunday and Dylan called Coach Rice back and asked again, and Rice still couldn’t give Dylan an answer and told Dylan he was having a hard time with it and repeated again that the coaches didn’t want to kick Dylan off.Dylan said I’ll make it easy for you coach I quit I don’t want to play with team mates that would turn their back on me, and a coach that didn’t have my back!Coach Web should have stepped up like a man and taken some of the blame for over reacting and mishandling the situation.But it’s all good! What goes around comes around, look where Dylan’s at now, and the year that he had. And look how it turned out for Web and Rice.Coach web is a punk! Not to mention Coach McGlofflin! Parents shouldn’t be allowed to coach in the high school level.Total double standard!( Desert Mountain lost a great athlete and a team leader.)There’s a lot of jealous wanti- b’s out there that don’t have anything better to do than bad mouth someone else and their success!

  • statsonstats says:

    Something seems a little fishy when only a kid’s family members are going online trying to sugarcoat the kid’s mishaps and reputation. If he’s so innocent it would already be understood, since he’s such an angel.

  • AZ Proud says:

    It’s understood by the ones that were their.As far as being a family member commenting, you have that right.Who the hell are you? Never said Dylan was an angle but Dylan surely didn’t punch a kid or coach at any time! And the kids that Dylan played baseball with wouldn’t be writing comments on this blog.You need to move on and leave Dylan alone! There’s an old saying ,(if you don’t have anything good to say then don’t say it !)

  • statsonstats says:

    There’s an even better saying: The more ignorant you are, the quicker you fight.

    Never said I was his teammate, but word gets around, sir.

  • MTNSIDE FITNESS RAT says:

    I am glad that the scouts see this kid for the angry young man he is. I have seen this kid since he was a freshman. I do not think there is any way this kid got so big without the help of some illicit drugs. He will probably burn out like the rest of the Scottsdale kids.

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