Brewers: OF Cozens, LHP Milner Signed to Minor League Contracts
By Matt Carroll
The Brewers continued a recent trend of minor league signings on Thursday, agreeing to contracts with two former Philadelphia Phillies draftees.
Well the hot stove is officially fully operational for the Milwaukee Brewers right now. Though if you were hoping for big-name major league contributors over minor leaguers, it might be the lukewarm stove for you right now.
Outside of adding to the team’s catching depth with the signing of Luke Maile, the other recent offseason signings by Milwaukee have all been minor league contracts with the pitcher Luis Perdomo reportedly being the most recent planned signing. Today, two more minor league signings were announced by the team.
Who is OF Dylan Cozens?
Dylan Cozens is a 26-year-old former 2nd-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies from back in 2012. He appeared in 27 games as a major leaguer with the Phillies, all but one of them being in 2018, where he slashed .158/.273/.289 in his limited time in the majors.
Cozens was designated for assignment by the Phillies in July of 2019, eventually being released and signing with the Tampa Bay Rays shortly thereafter. After spending the 2020 season at the Ray’s alternate training site, he became a free agent this past offseason.
While his minor league slash line (.252/.329/.473) is solid, if not spectacular, it’s Cozens’ power that is his calling card. He has 134 career minor league home runs with 88 of them coming over a three-year stretch from 2016 to 2018.
That would seem to match up perfectly with his MLB Pipeline profile. Cozens, who has strictly played outfield for his career, ranked at No. 15 on the Phillies’ Top 30 prospects list to end 2018 with his power grading out at a tantalizing 60.
How about LHP Hoby Milner?
Unlike Cozens, Hoby Milner is at least a little more established in the majors, having seen action in each of the last four seasons. A 7th-round pick by the Phillies in the same 2012 draft as Cozens, Milner made his major league debut back in 2017 with Philadelphia.
Milner pitched in 37 games that season, all in relief, and put up a 2.01 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. That did, however, come with a 4.50 FIP, a 1.468 WHIP, and a less-than-impressive ratio of 22 strikeouts to 16 walks.
Milner spent most of the next two seasons in the minors with the Phillies and Rays with a 60-day IL stint also happening in 2019. Last season was spent with the Angels where he gave up 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings, though he spent another brief stint on the IL with back spasms.
Milner is primarily a two-pitch reliever, featuring a high 80s sinker and a high 70s curveball which he combined to throw 98% of the time in 2020. As a lefty bullpen arm, his Spring Training invite will give the Brewers a chance to see if he can replace the recently departed Alex Claudio.
Make that four minor league signings now for the Brewers this offseason with the fifth in Perdomo likely on its way. Perhaps fans will have a major league signing waiting under the Christmas tree.