After an encouraging start to the 2016 season in April, Chris Owings broke out at the plate in the month of May, signaling that he has finally taken the next step at the major league level.
Not much has gone well for the Diamondbacks in 2016. They are 24-32, a full ten games back of the first-place Giants. This team is running out of opportunities, and may have already run themselves out of the playoff race.
For a team that was supposed to be a contender– especially after the events of this past winter– this season has to this point been nothing short of an absolute failure. The most depressing part is their 9-20 record at home with just two home series wins, and zero winning homestands.
Despite this horrid team record, several players have broken out at the plate this year, and the most pleasant surprise among them has been Chris Owings.
After hitting .227 with a .264 on-base and 144 strikeouts in 147 games in 2015, C.O. carried over a productive spring into April hitting .290 (20-for-69) with five stolen bases and six RBI in a part-time role.
In May, Owings forced himself into to the everyday lineup, regardless of the position he is playing. In particular, since May 8, is hitting at a .310/.341/.500 slash with an .841 OPS, two home runs, ten RBI, nine runs and two steals. Ten of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases including six doubles and two triples.
Owings’ average since May 8 was tied for sixth in the majors, and he is tied for seventh in hits during that span. He’s finally beginning to look like the player the Diamondbacks took in the first round in 2009.
His .375 BABIP during that stretch suggests he may be getting slightly lucky, but there is no doubt that he is taking the next step in his development as a major-league hitter.