9/6/22 : Paul Owens Award Nominations
Since 1986 the Phillies have honored the annual top player and pitcher in their minor league system. The award is named in honor of Paul Owens, a Phillies legend who spent 48 years in the Phillies organization as a scout, farm director, general manager, manager and senior advisor. Last year INF Bryson Stott & RHP Jean Cabrera were the award recipients.
The Phillies have just two regular season home stands remaining ( 9/6 to 9/11 and 9/20 to 9/25 ) and the award winners are usually brought to CBP along with their families to receive the prize. The Single A teams end their regular season on 9/11, AA Reading concludes on 9/18 and AAA Lehigh Valley on 9/28.
Here’s my early nominations ( with just a week or two left in the lower levels season and a month left in AAA ) for this year’s Paul Owens Awards - note that I never pick a winner - just nominate candidates 😂.
Pitcher of the Year :
RH Andrew Painter - pretty much a no brainer for this year’s award winner - no one in the system has come close to the year that the nineteen year old 2021 first round draft selection from Fort Lauderdale, Florida has posted. Over three levels ( Clearwater/Jersey Shore/Reading ) he’s recorded a cumulative 5-1 record in 20 starts ( 94 2/3 IP ) with a 1.24 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He’s been dominant at all three levels and has a 5.9 K/BB ratio leading the organization in multiple pitching categories including total strikeouts, K/9, ERA and WHIP.
RH Maxwell Hernandez - when you lead a 49 team league in ERA ( 0.72 in 49 2/3 IP ) and finish second in WHIP ( 0.81 ) and pitch 11 more innings in the playoffs recording a 0.82 ERA and 0.91 WHIP en-route to a league championship you’ve had quite the season. The nineteen year old from Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic had an outstanding year for the Phillies White team in the Dominican Summer League.
Position Player of the Year :
1B Darick Hall - the 27 year old 14th round draft selection from Dallas Baptist University in 2016 was promoted to the major leagues on June 29th and optioned back to Lehigh Valley on August 23rd. He hit 8 doubles, a triple, 9 home runs and had 16 RBIs in 135 plate appearances posting a .846 OPS during that time in the show. Coupled with his 19 doubles, 21 home runs and 72 RBIs at AAA level Lehigh Valley to date he’s hit 27 doubles, 30 dingers and delivered 86 RBIs thus far in 2022. His OPS in the minor leagues in 355 plate appearances is .835, consistent with the big league number. Nicknamed “Long Ball Hall” no current player in the organization has more Phillies affiliated minor league home runs than Darick’s 119 and by my unofficial count that places him 5th all time behind Joe Lis - 164, Pancho Herrera - 141, Dan Held - 135 and Dylan Cozens - 132. The big fella has had quite the year.
OF Dalton Guthrie - just promoted to the major leagues on Sunday there is no player in the 2022 Phillies organization that has made a more elongated portion of the minor league season impact than the 26 year old 6th round draft selection in the 2017 draft ( from the University of Florida ). He’s posted a .302 batting average in 338 AB’s for AAA level Lehigh Valley with an OBP of .363 in 374 PA’s with a system leading 27 doubles. Dalton also has 10 home runs and 52 RBIs and has stolen 21 bases. Defensively the former standout college shortstop has become primarily an outfielder - in fact, a very good one as he’s amassed 11 assists from center and right field accumulating 693 innings played.
OF Johan Rojas - a stellar defensive center fielder with all the tools : arm, speed, reads, jumps and routes he’s continued to excel in that regard this summer. The 22 year old ( signed on January 18th, 2018 ) has stolen 57 bases in 61 attempts to date playing both at High A Jersey Shore and AA level Reading which by my unofficial count places him 15th all-time for a single season Phillies minor league season mark for stolen bases https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/9-3-22-phillies-minor-leagues-single-season-stolen-base-leaders-since-1960-those-with-more-t He’s currently hitting .271 for Reading in 192 AB’s since being promoted on June 30th and has 19 doubles and 6 triples along with 7 home runs combined for the year thus far. Since August 19th he’s hitting .384 ( 20 for 52 ). Also noted is that Johan’s 57 stolen bases to date are the most in a singular Phillies minor league season since Anthony Gose swiped 76 bags for Lakewood back in 2009.
Top to bottom ( L to R ) - Dalton Guthrie, Darick Hall, Johan Rojas, Andrew Painter, Maxwell Hernandez - photos by Cheryl Pursell & George Youngs Jr