Cozens, Hoskins cap Double-A campaigns with even more power

Phillies' bash brothers go back-to-back for sixth time in season finale

Cozens, Hoskins cap Double-A campaigns with even more power

Double-A Reading's regular season came to an end on Monday afternoon as the club scored five times in the top of the 10th inning to defeat Trenton, 11-6. Yet the day belonged to Fightin Phils bash brothers Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins, who added to their historic individual and collective campaigns by hitting back-to-back home runs in their final at-bats for the repeating Eastern League Eastern division champions.

After going 1-for-4 with an RBI single through the game's first nine innings, Cozens, the Phillies' No. 7 prospect, connected on his Minor League-leading 40th home run to lead off the 10th inning, ripping the seventh pitch of the at-bat over the wall in right field. Hoskins (Phillies' No. 13) followed with his 38th home run to left-center field, marking the 14th game this season that they both hit home runs and the sixth time they went back-to-back.

Most combined RBIs by MiLB teammates since 1988
RBI Players Year Team
262 John Jaha & Jim Tatum 1991 El Paso
260 Gabe Kapler & Robert Fick 1998 Jacksonville
255 Stanton Cameron & Michael Stoner 1997 High Desert
253 Mike Coolbaugh & DT Cromer 1997 Huntsville
251 Tim Clark & Joan Toale 1993 High Desert
246 Adam Piatt & TR Marcinczyk 1999 Midland
244 Marty Cordova & Steve Dunn 1992 Visalia
241 Juan Silvestre & Craig Kuzmic 2000 Lancaster
241 Dylan Cozens & Rhys Hoskins 2016 Reading

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Reading's (89-52) offense paced all Minor League teams this season with 185 home runs. Cozens and Hoskins combined for 78 of those deep flies, the highest total by a pair of Minor League teammates since at least 1988 -- the farthest back Minor League numbers reliably go -- while the duo's 241 RBIs were the most since Juan Silvestre and Craig Kuzmic combined for that many for Lancaster in 2000.

"This is a great team with a bunch of really good players," Cozens told "I knew we were going to be good from the beginning of the season when I found out who they were putting here. I'm not that surprised that we've been as good as we are."

Cozens set a single-season franchise record with his 39th home run in Reading's division-clinching win on Saturday, passing Darin Ruf, who hit 38 home runs in 2012. The 22-year-old's previous high-water mark in that category was 16, which he achieved over 132 games during his 2014 full-season debut with Class A Lakewood. Cozens also set franchise records with his Minor League-leading 125 RBIs and 308 total bases.

However, it was his final regular-season home run on Monday that put Cozens into truly elite company, as he became the first Eastern Leaguer to hit 40 home runs in a season since Ron Kittle in 1981. Ultimately, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound outfielder finished one homer shy of matching the Eastern League record held by Ken Strong (Hazelton, 1931) and Rick Lancelotti (Buffalo, 1979).

More than just a slugger, Cozens also stole 21 bases in 22 attempts, making him one of three Minor Leaguers to accrue at least 20 home runs and 20 steals in 2016. More impressive, he's also the first Minor Leaguer to total at least 40 homers and 20 steals since at least 1988.

Overall, Cozens, whom the Phillies selected in the second round of the 2012 Draft out of Chaparral (Ariz.) High, posted a .276/.350/.591 batting line in 134 games. He paced the Eastern League with 38 doubles and 106 runs scored, the latter also representing the second-highest total in the Minors.

As for Hoskins, the 23-year-old first baseman finished second to Cozens with 38 home runs as he blew well past his career high of 17 to match the franchise's previous record. A 2014 fifth-round pick out of Sacramento State, he also ranked third in the Minors with 116 RBIs and finished the season with an impressive .281/.377/.566 slash line in 135 games.

Next up for the Fightin Phils is another matchup against the Trenton Thunder in the first game of the Eastern Division Championship Series, which is set for Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. ET at Reading's Arm & Hammer Park and can be seen on MiLB.TV.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.