Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings Is One of MLB’s Top Young Shortstops
Going in to the 2014 season, there was lots of talk about all of the great young shortstops throughout all levels of baseball. Led by Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Miguel Sano, Francisco Lindor and Addison Russell, six of the top 11 prospects in baseball were shortstops. Lost in the mix was Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings.
Throughout the preseason, Owings was locked in a position battle for the starting shortstop spot with the incumbent Didi Gregorious. Owings won the starting job after spring training and has proven to be worthy of it by leading the Diamondbacks in batting average to start the season. He is hitting .311 with an OBP of .370, and is also playing solid defense, as evidenced by his dWAR of 0.8.
Compared to the previously mentioned top shortstop prospects, Owings is certainly holding his own. The only other one of these shortstops with any experience in the major leagues is Boston Red Sox starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts, arguably the most hyped of the shortstops, is off to a great start himself, hitting .287 with an OBP of .392. While his defense has not been great, with a dWAR of -0.3, he is slowly improving that aspect of his game and has all the tools to be an above average defender later in his career.
None of the other shortstops have played at the major league level yet, and while they will all likely be productive when they get there, nothing is guaranteed whereas Owings has already proven to be a great young player.
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