The Philadelphia Phillies have named minor leaguers 1B/LF Darin Ruf and P Tyler Cloyd as the winners of the 2012 Paul Owens Award. The award--named after Paul Owens, general manager of the Phillies from 1972-1984--is given annually to the best position player and the best pitcher in the entire Phillies' minor league system.
Darin "Babe" Ruf was the obvious choice for the position player recipient. The guy is having an absolute monster season at AA Reading, hitting .317/.408/.622 with 37 HR and 96 RBI. His home run total is tied for first with Ryan Howard for the single-season home run record with the Reading Phillies, and leads all of minor league baseball. Ruf has kind of become the can't-miss prospect du jour of the Phillies fanbase and media, and many continue to wonder why he has not been called up to the major leagues yet. Receiving this award is certainly only going to increase the clamoring for his promotion.
Tyler Cloyd's award comes hot on the heels of his promotion to the big-league club earlier today. Between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley, Cloyd has compiled a 15-1 record and a 2.26 ERA over 167 innings, including a 12-1 record and a 2.35 ERA with the Iron Pigs. Although he is not much of a strikeout pitcher, he has been getting a ton of ground balls lately and has been pretty good at limiting his walks. While his ceiling may not be more than a back-of-the-rotation starter or a long reliever, the guy really doesn't have much left to prove at the minor league level. He gets his first chance in the bigs tonight against the New York Mets, spot-starting for an intestinally ill Cole Hamels.
Congratulations to these two, we all hope they can make significant contributions to the Phillies.