Diamondbacks Midseason Report





Best Player: Shortstop Chris Owings had three three-hit games in the final three weeks of his inaugural season at Rookie-level Missoula in 2009, and he has carried that over into his first full year.

Owings, who does not turn 19 until Aug. 12, was hitting .298/.323/.447 at low Class A South Bend in a league that because of its big parks and cooler early season weather is not particularly conducive to hitting. He'd added 19 doubles, five homers and 28 RBIs before being sidelined with plantar fasciitis in late June.

"He understands the strike zone," farm director Mike Berger said, "and he has a tremendous feel for driving the ball to right-center."

Owings, drafted out of Gilbert (S.C.) High with the 41st overall pick in 2009, also has shown good instincts for the position, with a well-above-average throwing arm, lateral range to both sides and the ability to come in on balls.

Biggest Leap Forward: With an organizational logjam at first base, the Diamondbacks sent Ryan Wheeler over to third base this spring. The move has taken.

Wheeler, a fifth-round pick in 2009, was hitting .287/.399/.745 at high Class A Visalia with 19 doubles, four homers and 31 RBIs. Wheeler, 21, hit .363/.461/.538 in 64 games at short-season Yakima last season, with 20 doubles, five homers and 36 RBIs. He spent the final eight games of last season at South Bend but skipped that level this season, moving right to high Class A.

Biggest Disappointment: Righthander Bryan Augenstein jumped to the parent Diamondbacks from Double-A Mobile on May 13, 2009, not only because of a stunning start for the BayBears but also because of a need at the major league level. Augenstein, 23, later missed a month with a right elbow strain, and he has yet to show the same consistency at Triple-A Reno this year, going 5-7, 6.37 in 95 innings, although he has shown flashes of the pitcher who was 5-0, 0.99 in nine games at Mobile in 2009.

Snake Bites

• Righthander J.R. Bradley, Arizona's second-round pick in this year's draft, was roughed up in his first professional outing. Bradley, 18, surrendered four runs on seven hits over 2 2⁄3 innings for Rookie-level Missoula on June 29.

• Lefthander Wade Miley, promoted at midseason, made a strong debut at Mobile in late June, throwing seven shutout innings while giving up five hits. He struck out eight and walked one leaving the game after running the bases in the top of the eighth inning.