The 2015 Arizona Diamondbacks were a potent offensive punch. They finished second in the National League in runs scored with 720 and third in on-base percentage at .324. They also had a young group of players who either exceeded expectations as rookies or took the next step in their second seasons. Then there was Chris Owings who was the starting shortstop in 2014 but moved over to second base in order to get Nick Ahmed in the lineup every day. Owings was a guy entering his second full season who should have taken a leap forward with the rest of his young teammates. Unfortunately, his season did not follow the script.
Owings made the transition to second base without a problem. He had some prior experience at the position during the course of his stops in the Minor Leagues, so defense was not an issue. He showed some power for a lower-of-the-order player with 27 doubles. five triples and and four home runs. The 24-year old Owings also finished fourth on the D-backs in stolen bases with 16. He was durable, playing in 147 games after having offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum.
In a lineup where just about every player exceeded expectations, it was Owings who played below them. He struck out an absurdly-high 144 times in 515 at-bats. You would expect that out of a middle-of-the-order hitter, not someone who hits seventh or eighth. He batted a paltry .227 with an on-base percentage of .264, numbers that were almost 40 points lower than their respective totals in 2014. While the surgery may or may not affected his performance, the dip in his production from one season to the next was alarming.
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If you are looking to label someone as a disappointment for the 2015 season, it would have to be Owings. He did not progress in the way that fellow second-year players David Peralta and Ender Inciarte did. In fact, Owings regressed, often looking lost at the plate. With the D-backs’ surplus of middle infielders, he could find himself fighting for playing time in 2016. There were a multitude of positives for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015. Unfortunately, Chris Owings was not among them.