Paul Owens Awards indict Philadelphia Phillies judgement

With an improved offense around him, Hoskins could exceed expectations. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images.
With an improved offense around him, Hoskins could exceed expectations. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images. /
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(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Each year the Philadelphia Phillies honor their best minor leaguers with an award named for a long-time employee. These selections help indicate the team’s problems.

The recent announcement of the Philadelphia Phillies winners of this year’s Paul Owens Awards prompted some thought about the plight of the team that spent nearly half a billion dollars last off-season and may end up in fourth place in their division by Sept. 29 at roughly 6:15 p.m., the scheduled end of their season.

An extra-innings game notwithstanding.

Maybe with a winning record. In fourth place!

Those three fragments are necessary. Or…maybe the second is more so than the first. If the first occurs, though, the extra innings may be played in front of 16 fans. Phillies fans are not happy, currently. They really haven’t been for more than two months.

Anyway, I digress. The Paul Owens Award is given annually to the two best players in the Phillies minor league system, including one pitcher. It honors Paul Owens, a 48-year employee of the Phillies in various mostly important positions, including manager and general manager. This year’s winners are at the ends of the two lists below.

And let’s be clear here: All of these players were (or are) great MiLB players – professionals.

The winners of what might be called the position player Owens Award have been, since 2010: Domonic Brown, Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, Andrew Knapp, Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins (co-winners in 2016), Scott Kingery, Austin Listi, and Alec Bohm.

The winners of the pitching awards have been: Scott Mathieson, Trevor May, Tyler Cloyd, Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Ricardo Pinto, Ben Lively, Tom Eshelman, David Parkinson, and Ethan Lindow.

I have purposely hyperlinked only those players who have played in 100 MLB games, hit at least .250, and have OPS figures over .700, or for the pitchers, who have winning pitching records after 40 MLB games, or WHIPS below 1.300, or who have at least ten saves. Obviously, hitting .250 in the majors is harder than doing that against Little League pitching, but it’s still not a very good average.

I think you should be able to see the problem in black and blue. These are supposedly the best minor leaguers the Phillies have been developing in the last ten years.