Friday, December 22, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Henry Owens!

The Dodgers have made another move. They have claimed prospect left-handed pitcher Henry Owens from the Arizona Diamondbacks -- who had failed to protect him on their 40-man roster. Owens, originally from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, had been drafted by and played six years within the Boston Red Sox organization. Then, he was placed on outright waivers in early December and immediately claimed by Arizona. Now, he is a Dodger.

You can follow Henry on twitter here: @henryowensz.

For those who don't know, Henry Owens was, at one time, considered one of the game's best prospects. He's a 6' 6" lefty who initially impressed scouts with his ability miss bats. Additionally, there were concerns about control, but most felt he would get a handle on that as time went bye. Unfortunately, that did not happen for him. Instead, his walk rate increased dramatically as his velocity started to fall. Soon, the can't miss middle-of-the-rotation starter was on the outs. Per Steve Owens at MLB Trade Rumors:
Owens was once considered to be one of the game’s best overall prospects. However, he’s managed just a 5.19 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9 in 85 big league innings and saw his control of the strike zone, which has long been an issue for him, utterly evaporate in 2017 when he walked 115 batters, hit 17 more and threw 17 wild pitches in 126 Triple-A innings this season.
No doubt, the Dodgers are hoping they can rekindle that spark that made Owens stand out. There's no word yet if he'll continue as a starter or re-position him as a reliever. What we do know is that Owens has a minor league option remaining, so they can send him to Triple-A Oklahoma City and do some work to figure that out.

Below are some articles about Henry Owens worth checking out. They mostly cover his falling prospect status within the Red Sox organization:
Owens’ Walk Rate has dramatically increased over the last three years, while his Strikeout Rate has dramatically decreased. I would suspect that a large portion of the blame for this trend is a substantial drop in his four-seam fastball velocity.
This is a bit of sad news, though it’s not entirely unexpected. As most remember, it wasn’t really all that long ago that Owens was one of the top prospects in the system and someone the Red Sox liked a whole lot. He has always flashed some impressive stuff, but his control never really came along as hoped. In fact, things have seemingly gone down in recent years. This past season was a new low for Owens, as the southpaw started the year by walking just under eight batters per nine innings in Triple-A. From there, he was demoted to Double-A where he walked over eight batters per nine before reducing that rate to 5.5 per nine in the Arizona Fall League. He was, to be fair, adjusting his arm slot over the course of the year, but it was discouraging to say the least.
In celebration of Henry's ascension to into the Dodger Blue ranks I made the above two fantasy baseball cards of him.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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