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Hoskins, Cozens, Lively named Phillies' top minor-leaguers

WASHINGTON - The Phillies had a bit of a conundrum when they determined the winners of Paul Owens Award, a yearly honor given to the organization's top minor-league pitcher and position player.

WASHINGTON - The Phillies had a bit of a conundrum when they determined the winners of Paul Owens Award, a yearly honor given to the organization's top minor-league pitcher and position player.

They had two hitters - Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins - who were almost equally deserving. So the Phils awarded them both on Friday.

Cozens and Hoskins shared the position player award and Ben Lively was named the organization's top pitcher. Cozens and Hoskins, who slugged back-to-back all season for double-A Reading, are the first players to share the Paul Owens Award since 1997, when Jimmy Rollins shared it with an outfielder named Jeff Key.

"The hardest thing to develop is power, and the hardest thing to find is a run-producing bat. We feel like both of these guys are going to be that," said Joe Jordan, the team's director of player development. "It has been a fantastic experience to watch them, and the reward was seeing them develop as players. We couldn't have drawn it up any better. I think both of them should be a bright part of our future."

Cozens, 22, led all of minor-league baseball in homers (40), RBIs (125), extra-base hits (83), and total bases (308). The rightfielder batted .276 with a .350 on-base percentage and .591 slugging percentage. Cozens, a lefthanded batter, was the Eastern League's MVP and the league's first player to hit 40 homers since 1980. The Phillies drafted him in the second round of the 2012 draft.

Hoskins, 23, batted .281 with 116 RBIs and a .566 slugging percentage. The first-baseman was second in minor-league baseball with 38 homers, trailing only Cozens. The Phillies drafted Hoskins, a righthander batter, in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. Both Cozens and Hoskins will likely be invited to spring training next year in Clearwater, Fla. and they could get to the majors sometime next season.

The Phillies traded for Lively in December of 2014, just a few months after he had been named Cincinnati's minor-league player of the year. The 24-year-old righthander started this season at double A for the second straight year before quickly pitching his way to triple A. He went 18-5 this season with a 2.69 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 1702/3 innings.

Lively started for triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night in their 2-0 playoff-opening loss to Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. Lively struck out eight batters, walked none, and allowed just the two runs in 72/3 innings. It could be his final performance of the season as the Phillies plan to shut him down for the season after Lehigh Valley's season is finished.

"Ben opened himself up in spring training and said, 'I've got to do what I can to get better,' and he has taken a huge step forward," Jordan said. "His delivery is sound and he is a big, strong guy that lives at the bottom of the strike zone. We saw this summer what he has a chance to be."

Extra bases

Maikel Franco missed his third straight game with a sore right thumb. Manager Pete Mackanin said it is just a bruise and the third baseman has not had any tests done. . . . Jerad Eickhoff will start Saturday against Max Scherzer, who leads the majors in strikeouts with 243.