WATCH LIST: CHRIS OWINGS

Owings_AZCHRIS OWINGS – SS

PARENT CLUB – ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
DRAFTED – Arizona 2009, Supplemental pick, 41st overall
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT – Arizona Diamondbacks
NOTES: Arizona Diamondbacks #3 prospect (Baseball America)

Chris Owings entered the 2014 season at the age of 22 and has risen from Rookie League Missoula in 2009 to the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster. After an MVP season at AAA Reno in 2013, Owings earned a September callup and went to camp with the big league club in Spring Training.

Owings had his first pro struggles in 2011 at hiA Visalia but came back strong in 2012 to earn a promotion to AA at the halfway point of the season. BA credits Owings with a quick bat that packs surprising power and solid range in the field with a plus arm.

PLAYER PAGE at MiLB.com

November 15, 2014

Owings stuck with the big league club and played 91 games before injuring his left shoulder in June. He returned in September and batted .208/.256/.236 over 72 ABs. Overall, in 91 games Owings had 310 ABs and hit .261/.300/.406 with six homers. The Diamondbacks have had a glut of middle infield talent including Owings, Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed as well as Cliff Pennington. Going forward, Owings looks to bounce back in 2015 and prove to be a starter in a lineup that may be dramatically altered by the new leadership in Tony LaRussa, Dave Stewart and DeJon Watson.

MARCH 21, 2014

The Diamondbacks opened the 2014 season in Australia against the Dodgers and Chris Owings was in the Opening Day lineup. A Spring Training battle with Didi Gregorius for the shortstop spot resulted in Owings getting the start for the first game and Gregorius starting the second game.

InsideTheZona.com story
MLB.com story

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

The 2013 season concluded with the Diamondbacks out of the NL west race and with Chris Owings seeing significant playing time at SS. Didi Gregorius tailed off from a hot start with Arizona and Owings got a serious look when he came up as a September callup.

In 20 games with the Diamondbacks, Owings had 55 ABs and batted .291/.361/.382. The batting average matched what he posted at AAA Reno and the OBP was an improvement, but the slugging was down as Owings hit 5 doubles and no triples or homers.

At the beginning of the 2013 season it appeared that Owings may have been blocked at the major league level with the Diamondbacks getting good production from Gregorius, whom they had just acquired in a trade. But as the season wore on, Gregorius struggled mightily against left-handed pitching and Owings tore up the Pacific Coast League. Owings’ MLB audition went well and it appears that there will be a Spring Training battle for the position.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

The Diamondbacks called Chris Owings up on September 3rd and he got into the game against Toronto as a pinch-hitter, going 0-for-1. Another unsuccessful pinch-hitting appearance came the next day before Owings got his first major-league start on September 6 in San Francisco.

Batting 7th and playing SS, Owings was part of the lineup that almost had a perfect game thrown against it by Yusmeiro Petit. Chris went 0-for-3 and had a error in the field as he tried to start a 6-4-3 double play, but he threw wide of 2B and no outs were recorded.

Things turned around the next day as Owings batted eighth and went 2-for-3 with a walk in a 2-1 Arizona win. He also played a clean shortstop. Then on Sunday, he completed the series in San Francisco with two more hits, going 2-for-5, and turning a 4-6-3 double play in the field.

At this point, Chris Owings is five games into his major league career and has gone 4-for-13, all singles, with 1 BB, 4 K’s, a stolen base and a run scored.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013

On August 27 the Pacific Coast League honored Owings with the Rookie of the Year award. On August 29, Owings added MVP hardware to his AAA haul. As of today, his hitting line sits at .328/.358/.480 with 12 HR, 79 RBI and 101 runs scored.  Owings had one of his most memorable games as pro on July 9th in Fresno when he hit 3 HR with 5 RBI while going 4-for-4.

It’s been a year of accolades for Chris Owings who is now 22 years old and putting an outstanding year at AAA in the books. He has improved each of the last two years and is at the doorstep of the big leagues.

JUNE 28, 2013

The hit streak ended at 22 but the hot hitting did not as Chris Owings seems to have only gotten better since. At this point, his line for the season is .358/.377/.494 with 7 HR and 54 RBI over 80 games. Over his last 10 games, Owing has an OPS of 1.073.

With back-to-back organizational Player of the Month honors under his belt for April and May, Owings has a good case to go for a 3-peat with another solid month in June.

JUNE 6, 2013

Shortstop Chris Owings of the AAA Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) has hit in 22 straight games, the longest streak in the minor leagues this season. After yesterday’s off day, he will try to make it 23 tonight against the Colorado Sky Sox.

Owings is especially hot lately with two straight multi-hit games, five multi-hit games over his last nine, and a line of .383./574/.957 over his last 10 games. There’s nothing cheap about this streak.

The Diamondbacks’ named Owings, as their Minor League Player of the Month for May. The 2009 first-round draft pick (41st overall) out of high school has played well at all levels of minor league ball but this is a breakout year, his first at AAA. Currently his line for the season is .349/.366/.464 and a story by Jake Seiner on MiLB.com says he is reaping the benefit of some spring training advice he got from Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt.

MAY 24, 2013

The month of May is winding down and Chris Owings remains hot in his first year at AAA. Owings went 1-for-3 tonight to extend his current hitting streak to 11 games as the Reno Aces outlasted the Tacoma Raniers, 8-5. Owings now owns a line of .338/.357/.440 and has scored 41 runs in 47 games at Reno.

Two articles came out this week that highlight Owings’ big year so far and his mindset and work ethic that are serving him well. MiLB. com has a piece from Chris Jackson that talks about Owings and Matt Davidson performing well under similar circumstances. And Baseball America has a story from Jack Magruder out today (BA subscription required) that speaks to more of the same in regard to Owings.

MAY 11, 2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks named Chris Owings their minor league Player of the Month for his performance in April. Owings adjusted to AAA quite well as he posted a .342 batting average with 43 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs for the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League.

As the calendar turned to May, nothing changed for Owings, who checks in with a line of .344/.367/.466 and just had a stretch of locked-in offense where he had two hits in five of six games.

On the major league level, the Diamondbacks have Didi Gregorius playing at SS and he’s doing quite well, to say the least (.356/.404/.623). With starting 2B Aaron Hill on the shelf, manager Kirk Gibson had Cliff Pennington filling in before turning to Josh Wilson, and neither of them is contributing anywhere near what Hill normally produces. But Hill will be back from his broken hand soon enough and the middle infield for Arizona should be solidified. What does that mean for Chris Owings? It is hard to say at this point, but his big AAA performance puts him in the conversation in a good way. Let’s see how this plays out as the Diamondbacks look to stay in contention in the NL west.

APRIL 4, 2013

Chris Owings played in 14 Spring Training games this year and hit .280/.308/.640 with 2 HR and 5 RBI. Baseball America had him listed as the Diamondbacks’ #7 prospect for the second straight year, noting both his strong performance in his return to hiA ball in 2012 as well as his numbers “leveling off” once he got promoted to AA.

The offseason trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta brought SS Didi Gregorius to Arizona, and that clearly impacts Owings’ future. While the 23-year old Gregorius may be Arizona’s SS of the future, the club also acquired Cliff Pennington, so the logjam ahead of Owings has gotten bigger. There has been speculation that the long term plan may have Owings moving over to second base.

Whatever the future holds, Owings is starting the season with the AAA Reno Aces and went 0-for-4 on opening night batting in the number two spot. Baseball America expected him to start back at AA Mobile and look for a mid-season promotion to Reno so he’s ahead of that curve at this point.

OCTOBER 10 2012

Owings is playing in the Arizona Fall League for the Salt River Rafters and played in their season opener, going 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. The AFL runs through mid-November.

On October 1st, MiLB.com recognized the organizational All-Stars for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Owings was honored, indicating he had the best year of all of the shortstops in the system.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012

The AA season ended with Owings swinging a hot bat, going 9 for his last 20 at the plate with a string of multi-hit games. After 69 games with the Mobile Bay Bears, Owings finished the season with a AA line of .263/.291/.377 with 6 HR and 28 RBI in 297 AB. That’s a drop from his stellar numbers at lo-A Visalia to start the year, but overall he finished with a line of .290/.323/.452 with 17 HR and 52 RBI in his second minor-league season.

Owings has been assigned to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League where he will be managed by  Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams. The AFL kicks off on October 9th and finishes with a championship game on November 17th.

AUGUST 28, 2012

Owings now has more ABs at AA (273) this season than he had at hiA (241) and it has been a struggle at the plate. After the promotion for hitting .324/.362/.544, at Visalia, Owings has a line of .249/.278/.355 at AA Mobile. Last night’s 1-for-4 outing against Tenessee made Owings 9-for-42 (.214) over his last 10 games. He has just 10 walks and 65 strikeouts, which is almost the same as he had in hiA (13 and 63).

The AA numbers are eerily similar to what Owings did in hiA in 2011 (.246/.274/.388) and he came back strong to start 2012 and make the jump to AA. On August 12 he had his 21st birthday.

AUGUST 11, 2012

It’s been up-and-down at the plate for Owings since the promotion to AA and an 0-for-5 tonight in a 6-5 win over Jacksonville dropped his line to .245/.276/.354 in 212 ABs at Mobile. Over the last four games Owings has gone 0-for-18, which follows a hot streak the few games previous. In the field tonight, Chris had two errors, one throwing and one fielding, that brought his total at AA to four.

On Thursday, August 9th, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic discussed Owings in a piece on Diamondbacks minor leaguers. Owings talks about the differences at AA and a minor change to his hitting mechanics. See Piecoro’s article here.

AUGUST 4, 2012

A 3-for-5 night with a double brought Owings’ average up to .273 in 40 games at AA Mobile.  The bat has been heating up with a 14-for-41 (.341)  performance over the last 10 games with two doubles and two homers.

JULY 27, 2012
Owings continues to adjust to AA and checks in with a .255/.275/.362 line after 149 ABs. Over his last 10 games, Owings is 10-for-45 with 3 doubles for the Mobile Bay Bears.

While these numbers aren’t eye-popping, Owings was mentioned in a Bleacher Report feature on shortstop prospects who could pan out to be comparable to new Hall-Of-Famer Barry Larkin. Such a comparison is heady stuff for a guy batting .255 at AA, but it speaks to the tools in Owings’ shed.

JULY 16, 2012
The Mobile Bay Bears played a wild 14-inning game against Montgomery tonight, coming out on top 8-7.  Owings, who went through a lull after initial success at AA, went 2-for-7 and now has a five-game hitting streak. His batting line after 25 games at Mobile is .276/.300/.397 with 2 HR, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored. In 116 AB, Owings has walked 3 times against 27 K’s.

During the hitting streak, Owings has had two hits in four of the five games. On July 8th he had a 3-for-7 game that included his first triple at Mobile, and he has since added another.

The right-handed hitting Owings is hitting .360 against lefties at AA and .253 against righties. Both of his homeruns have come off of lefties.

JUNE 29, 2012
Owings played his ninth game at AA tonight and so far he has been a smashing success. Tonight’s box score shows 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI against Huntsville but the buzz on Owings is what he did last night. It was a spectacular line for Owings, 5-for-6, a 2B, a HR, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.

After 9 games at AA Mobile, Owings has a line of .326/.356./.442 with 1 HR, 10 RBI and 5 runs scored.
In 59 games at hiA Visalia he hit .324/.362/.544 with 11 HR, 24 RBI and 51 runs scored.

This season combined, Owings has 284 AB with 15 BB and 72 K’s.

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