Cozens, Hoskins lead top prospect performers Sunday

Minors' top two home-run hitters from 2016 launch first long balls of '17

Cozens, Hoskins lead top prospect performers Sunday

Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins tore up the Eastern League to the tune of 78 combined home runs for Double-A Reading last year. So it comes as little surprise that each of them homered for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and helped lead the IronPigs to a doubleheader sweep over Pawtucket on Sunday.

Cozens, the Phillies' No. 9 prospect and reigning Minor League home run champ after hitting 40 home runs in 2016, went deep in his first at-bat of the day as part of a 1-for-2 performance with two runs scored in Game 1. Four innings later, Cozens' bash buddy Hoskins (Phillies' No. 13) also crushed the first homer of his Triple-A career, a two-run blast, as part of a 4-for-6 day overall with two extra-base hits and four runs scored across the doubleheader.

If Sunday's twin bill was any indication, this dynamic duo of Cozens and Hoskins should have little trouble adjusting to the superior competition in their new surroundings. Phillies fans should no doubt keep an eye on this newest edition of the "Bash Brothers" throughout the season.

Other top prospect performances from around the Minors on Sunday

• Cozens and Hoskins were far from the only impressive power producers. No. 26 overall prospect Ian Happ (Cubs' No. 2) homered again for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, giving him three straight games with a leisurely trip around the bases. Happ's solo blast in the sixth came off former Major League All-Star Jair Jurrjens of Triple-A Oklahoma City, who recently pitched in three games for Team Netherlands in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

In 15 at-bats so far this season, Happ has already totaled 13 bases and scored five runs. The ninth overall pick by the Cubs in 2015 put up a strong 15-homer, 73-RBI season between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee last year.

• Dustin Fowler went 0-for-4 in the first game of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's doubleheader, but he more than made up for his slow start to the season in the second contest. The Yankees' No. 9 prospect left the yard with his first two hits of the year, belting a two-run shot in the first inning and a three-run shot in the fifth. It was the first multi-homer game for Fowler as a pro after he was drafted in the 18th round in 2013.

• Teenage fireballer Riley Pint (Rockies' No. 3, No. 49 overall) was effective in his debut for Class A Asheville, limiting Hagerstown to four singles and a pair of walks over four shoutout innings. Pint, 19, threw 42 of his 69 pitches for strikes and struck out four before he was lifted because of a pre-determined pitch count. The Kansas native and fourth overall pick by Colorado in last June's Draft also reportedly hit triple-digits on the gun several times in his first time on the full-season stage.

• Ian Anderson dominated his own full-season debut for Class A Rome, allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out a career-high eight batters over just 4 2/3 innings of work. The Braves' No. 6 prospect (No. 83 overall) posted an encouraging 2.04 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 10 Rookie league starts in 2016.

Tyler Beede looked anything but nervous in his Triple-A debut for Sacramento. The Giants' top prospect (No. 85 overall) scattered five hits without a walk while allowing a lone run in six superb innings of work. The right-hander posted a middling 8-7 record for Double-A Richmond in 2016 but recorded encouraging peripherals with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine.

• Christin Stewart was the star of Double-A Erie's exciting twin bill. The Tigers' No. 2 prospect belted two home runs in a wild opener that saw the SeaWolves come back to defeat Trenton, 10-9, in 10 innings. Yankees' No. 10 prospect Miguel Andujar put on his own show on the other side, going 4-for-5 with a bases-clearing triple and two solo homers in the contest.

Stewart was not done, however, as he went 1-for-3 with another home run in the nightcap. A first-round pick by Detroit in the 2015 Draft, the outfielder hit 24 home runs in 104 games for Class A Advanced Lakeland last year before being promoted to Erie in August.

• Dawel Lugo (D-backs' No. 4) got in on the action with his own power parade. The infielder went 4-for-6 with his first two home runs, three runs scored and four RBIs from the three-hole as Double-A Jackson rolled Birmingham, 20-5. Lugo is now batting .450 on the young season after hitting .311 with 17 homers in 127 games between the California League and the Southern League in 2016.

• Daz Cameron had a career day at the plate for Class A Quad Cities. The Astros' No. 9 prospect went 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs from the leadoff spot, including a grand slam in the fourth inning and a solo shot in the ninth. A first-round pick by Houston in 2015, Cameron had only left the yard twice in 94 career Minor League games entering Sunday.

• Cornelius Randolph kept his personal homer streak alive Sunday, going deep in his first at-bat to give him three straight games with a long ball. Randolph's three home runs through his first four games of the season is already a single-season best for the Phillies' No. 10 prospect. The left fielder finished 1-for-4 in Class A Advanced Clearwater's 4-2 win over Dunedin.

• Yu-Cheng Chang has also now homered in each of his first three games of the year, marking the first time the shortstop has homered in three straight contests. The Indians' No. 11 prospect finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the first game of Double-A Akron's doubleheader, a 7-6 win over Bowie, and is now batting .417 with a 1.750 OPS to begin 2017.

• Luis Escobar was a strikeout machine for West Virginia. The Pirates' No. 14 prospect fired five dominant innings, with 12 of the 15 outs he notched coming by way of the K. His only flaw was a run allowed in a remarkable third frame that included four wild pitches, a passed ball, his lone walk of the day, and of course two strikeouts. The Power would eventually lose the game, 2-1, after allowing a run in the 11th.

• Cody Ponce started his 2017 campaign off on the right foot. Ponce, the Brewers' No. 15 prospect, fired seven shutout innings with four hits, five strikeouts and no walks for Class A Advanced Carolina to move to 1-0 to start the year. The right-hander went 2-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 17 starts for Milwaukee's Class A Advanced affiliate last season, then the Brevard County Manatees.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.