Now comes the question: Did they reach way too high for him?
Cozens, who was thrown off his Desert Mountain high school team as a junior and transferred, was chosen in the second round with a pick (No. 77) that was part of the compensation for Ryan Madson's signing with Cincinnati in January. Baseball America did not list Cozens among its top 500 prospects before the draft.
"This is a kid that people knew about, but were kind of [turned] off of for whatever reason," said Amaro, who usually is reserved when discussing draft picks. "I love the guy's power, I mean, extraordinary power for a kid; great body, runs well, seems to move pretty well. He looks like a pretty decent athlete."
The last decent outfielder the Phillies drafted in the second round was - gulp - Larry Hisle in 1965, and he had most of his major-league success with Minnesota and Milwaukee.
The Phillies used their own second-round pick, No. 95 overall, on Alec Rash, a 6-5 righthander out of Adel Desoto Minburn High School in Iowa.
In the third round, the Phillies selected Zach Green, a 6-3 shortstop said to have good power and a strong arm. The Phils traditionally are enamored of high school players, and took five prep players with their first five selections, including righthanders Shane Watson (No. 40) and Mitch Gueller (No. 54) in Monday's compensatory round.
They closed out Day 2, however, by taking college players with nine of their final 12 picks.
Cozens is the son of Randy Cozens, a defensive end who played at Pittsburgh and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1976. A lefthanded hitter and projected corner outfielder, Cozens hit a state-high 19 home runs this spring and is a University of Arizona signee for both baseball and football (defensive end). He also had several scholarship offers for basketball, but baseball is his primary sport, his mother said.
"Baseball has always been a lifelong dream. And his dream has come true," Sandra Michele said. "Now we're just ready to watch him do what he does best: play baseball and hit home runs."
Signing with the Phillies should be just a formality. Cozens' draft position is slotted at $659,800 according to the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Cozens played his junior season at Desert Mountain High School before he was kicked off the baseball team and transferred to Chaparral and led the Firebirds to a state title this spring. The Cozenses did not elaborate on his trouble at Desert Mountain. Amaro said only that Cozens had "got into a couple of tussles, but that's OK. I don't have a problem with that." Phillies assistant GM Marti Wolever also isn't concerned.
"He broke [fellow Chaparral product] Paul Konerko's home-run record in Arizona," Wolever said. "We spent a lot of time on his makeup and on his family. We believe this kid's got what it takes."
Cozens turned 18 on May 31. Two days later, he was putting on a show in front of the Phillies brass.
"Being able to check out the clubhouse and meeting Charlie Manuel and seeing guys like Cliff Lee and Carlos Ruiz was cool," he said.
Cozens was one of 10 players the Phillies worked out before the draft.
"This guy bounced around a little bit, and people got on him late," Wolever said. "People [may have] heard all the information, but they didn't do their homework. They didn't find out what he was made of and his character, and we did. Once we saw him play, we thought, 'This is a guy we have a lot of interest in, so let's find out everything that goes with it.' I think we have, and we feel real good about his selection."
Draftniks. Nine of the Phillies' first 17 picks are position players and eight are pitchers. They also took three players named Zach (Green, third round; Taylor, 12th; and Cooper, 15th). . . . Catcher Josh Ludy, an eighth-round pick out of Baylor, was the Big 12 player of the year. . . . The Phillies plan to move fifth-round pick Andrew Pullin from the outfield to second base. . . . The draft concludes Wednesday with Rounds 16 to 40, beginning at noon. The Phillies, owners of the best regular-season record in 2011, pick last in each round.
Contact Ed Barkowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.