D-BACKS PROMOTE SS OWINGS TO AA

SS Chris Owings, the 41st overall pick in 2009 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, came back to hi-A Visalia to start the 2012 season and had an impressive first half that earned him a promotion to AA Mobile this week. The Diamondbacks had two first-round picks and three supplemental first-rounders in 2009 when they selected Owings out of high school as part of the strong draft class.

After a 24-game stint with Missoula of the Pioneer League in 2009, Owings started 2010 at loA South Bend. In 68 games there he posted a .298/.323/.447 line that earned him a trip to hiA Visalia for 2011. It was a bit of a challenge for Owings last season as he finished the year in a 12-for-73 slump that dropped his average to .246, but he showed some pop with 11 homeruns and 50 RBI.

This season, at age 20, Owings put it all together over the first half and earned a spot on the California League all-star team. He got off to a good start, earned Cal League Player of The Week honors in mid-May and played steady shortstop while putting up big numbers at the plate. Matching last season’s HR total in half of a season with 11, Owings had a .324/.362/.544 line at Visalia and when they returned from the All-Star break to start the second half, Owings was starting his first game for AA Mobile.

Owings entered 2012 as Arizona’s #7 organizational prospect according to Baseball America. Ahead of him on the list were several huge pitching prospects, Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs. At age 20, Owings is on a list of minor-league standouts that could make Arizona a NL west powerhouse for years to come.

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