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Chris Owings the favorite over Didi Gregorius for D-Backs’ starting shortstop job

Mar 16, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

ESPN’s Jim Bowden hears that Chris Owings is the favorite over Didi Gregorius for the Diamondbacks’ starting shortstop job. Owings, 22, has not had a particularly great showing this spring, but has out-hit Gregorius in OPS, .698 to .541.

Gregorius, 24, wasn’t particularly impressive in his rookie season in 2013, posting a .704 OPS. Owings wasn’t noticeably better at the big league level last season but only had 61 plate appearances with which to work. He performed well with Triple-A Reno, slashing .330/.359/.482.

Bowden expects Owings to wind up as a candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season. Additionally, he expects the D-Backs to shop Gregorius. He could, perhaps, be an option for the Tigers.

  1. hildezero - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    That’s interesting that a younger player has outplayed an older and experienced player.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:22 AM

      The funny thing is even though Didi is about a year and a half older than Owings, Owings actually has slightly more AB’s between the minors and majors than Didi.

  2. karlkolchak - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    “Bowden expects Owings to wind up as a candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.”

    Kiss of death from the guy who once traded FOR Elijah Dukes.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    There are 2 teams that blatantly need a shortstop – the Tiggers and the Mets. The Mets should be negotiating with the Mariners and D’Backs for Nick Franklin and Didi Gregorius while Boras pretends they’re legitimately interested in Drew for leverage with the Tiggers.

    The Tiggers should be pretending to be interested in Franklin and Gregorius for leverage whilst negotiating with Boras over Drew.

    Meanwhile, the Yankees should be quietly working behind the scenes to acquire Gregorius or Franklin before their ancient stop-gap of a SS suffers his next age-related malady.

    Predictions: Drew to Tiggers on a pillow contract, Franklin to Mets for a mid-level pitching prospect, Gregorius to New York as insurance for the Captain.

  4. nsstlfan - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    The Yankees already have like three players as insurance for the captain

    • jerze2387 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      The Insurance they have is the equivalent of state minimum liability coverage on an original 67 corvette.

  5. eddiemartin1190 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I used to be an intern for the Modesto Nuts (rockies high A affiliate) and they played arizona’s affiliate quite often. Anyway, I rember this guy hitting one of the furthest balls I’ve ever seen there during a game. Keep in mind that modesto has one of the biggest ballparks in the whole minor leagues so it was impressive.

    I know Didi is a defensive wizard, but this dude’s thump will no doubt keep the pressure on him.

  6. yahmule - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    I like Owings, but the ROY talk is wildly optimistic. He did put up excellent numbers in a very favorable hitting environment last year, but look to his .291 OBP @ AA Mobile in 2012 before you start calling him Cal Ripken Jr Jr.

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