Philadelphia Phillies prospects Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins are are chasing much more than Darin Ruf's Reading Fightin' Phils single season record for home runs as their season winds down.
Cozens, who has 37 home runs this season, is trying to fend off his teammate not only for the team lead in home runs, but also the most home runs in all of minor league baseball. The two currently lead the minor leagues in home runs, making them the top two competitors for the Joe Bauman award, which is given to the minor leaguer (at any level) with the most home runs in a given season.
Beyond just getting the award, which the league hands out at its Winter Meetings, the winner of the award gets $200 per home run. $200 per home run may sound like a small amount, but if Cozens ends up hitting 40 home runs and winning the award, he would get a check for $8,000. Cozens, who is the No. 7 prospect in the Phillies system according to MLB Pipeline, may end up making quite a bit of money in the big leagues, but at age 23, it's better to have $8,000 than to not.
Two Phillies have previously won the award, with Ryan Howard winning in 2004 with 46 total home runs and Darin Ruf winning in 2012 with 38 home runs. Howard is one of four future All-Stars to have won the award, with Mike Moustakas, Bryan LaHair and Kris Bryant all winning the award. The award was created in 2002.
Cozens and Hoskins also have a chance to break Ruf's single-season Reading home run record of 38.