The future for Chris Owings and the D’backs has become a little cloudier than it was following his 2012 performance and his participation in this past fall’s Arizona Fall League. With the team’s recent trades bringing Didi Gregorious to the organization, another fellow Fall League shortstop, as well as Cliff Pennington in the Chris Young trade, Owings time gap between the minor leagues and the big leagues may have grown even longer.
In the D’backs organization since 2009, Owings has grown into a shortstop prospect for the team. Known to be an above average shortstop with some pop in his bat, Owings enjoyed a solid 2012 campaign in which he split time between A-Visalia and AA-Mobile. Owings hit a combined .290 between those stops in 538 at bats. Owings showed some solid power numbers hitting 17 home runs, 52 RBI, and 26 doubles in his 128 games in 2012. The season resulted in the organization designated him for the Arizona Fall League, one of the more well known developmental leagues that have featured a number of baseball’s current stars. Owings numbers in the short 21 games weren’t super impressive, including his zero walks in 90 plate appearances, showing that his approach at the plate definitely needs to catch up to his already solid glove work up the middle.
As the team enters the 2013 season, their outlook at shortstop has changed a bit. Pennington was brought over as asolid glove man himself. Gregorious is getting tabbed as the shortstop of the future after coming over in the Bauer deal. Some had questioned why the team went after names like Pennington and Gregorious when it seemed as if they had Owings waiting in the wings. Now, with Gregorious under team control for the forseeable future, some in baseball have mentioned a possible move to second base where he may be able to replace Aaron Hill when his contract is up following the 2013 season.
Whatever the future holds for Owings, it appears that he will be spending 2013 in the D’backs minor league system and the team will likely be looking for him to continue to grow as a hitter and work on plate discipline and pitch selection. Whatever position he ends up in, it appears that the D’backs have some major league talent on their hands that could be a big part of their future.