The Arizona Diamondbacks made 15 roster moves on Thursday, trimming the number of players in camp to 44 . The one that drew the most attention was the assigning of Josh Booty, winner of MLB Network’s “The Next Knuckler” to their Minor League camp. There was another one that caught my eye, one that was not totally not unexpected but at the same time is curious considering that Chris Owings is a former first round draft pick. Owings, selected 41st overall in 2009, was also reassigned to the D’backs’ Minor League camp, perhaps an indication that the club is not really sure where the infielder fits in to their future plans.
Chris Owings has a future somehwere in MLB either in Arizona or somewhere else. Image: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s face it, the trade that brought over Didi Gregorius complicated matters for Owings. The D’backs gave up Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft to land Gregorius essentially anointing him the shortstop of the near future. Shortstop also happens to be Owings’s primary position. Keep in mind that the play of the 21-year old righty swinger has progressed nicely in the Minors since age 17 when he began his career at Missoula of the Pioneer League. Between High A Visalia and Double A Mobile, Owings enjoyed a fine 2012 season hitting .290 with 17 home runs and 52 RBI’s and twelve stolen bases. Strikouts are a concern as he whiffed an alarmingly high 132 times in 567 at bats. Here is an excerpt of what Jonathan Mayo from mlb.com wrote about the Charleston, SC product:
“The tools are there for Owings to be an everyday middle infielder in the big leagues. He has the ability to hit for average, but he needs to work on his plate discipline to get there – there’s too much swing and miss to his game”.
Click here if you want to read the entire report.
It seems that Owings can be a productive every day infielder. His path at shortstop is blocked and it would seem second base is a no-go either for the foreseeable future as the D’backs just locked up Aaron Hill through 2016. Owings is ranked number six on the D’backs’ top 20 list of prospects, three behind Gregorius and one place ahead of newly acquired Nick Ahmed, also a shortstop. Owings could start the season at Mobile before getting a call to Triple A Reno. Mayo’s report states Owings should arrive in the Majors in 2014. Whether it is in Arizona or some other destination remains to be seen. One way or another it seems the former first round pick will be an important part of the D’backs’ plans fairly soon.
Do you think Chris Owings will be part of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization after 2013?
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