The Phillies announced earlier on Thursday that 2B Scott Kingery and RHP Tom Eshelman are the recipients of the 2017 Paul Owens Award.
The award is given to the organization’s best minor league position player and pitcher from that given season.
Kingery, 23, started the year in Spring Training with the Phillies as a 22-year old and flashed his newfound power. He then began the year with double-A Reading, the level at which he struggled to finish the 2016 campaign. Kingery did not let his previous woes affect him, however, as he started hot and never let off the gas during his time with the Fightin Phils. In 69 double-A games, Kingery slashed .313/.379/.608/.987 with 18 home runs, 18 doubles, 5 triples, 18 stolen bases, 28 walks — 8.8% BB%, the highest of his career — and 51 strikeouts — 16.1% K%.
Following a 3 for 4 performance on June 25, Kingery was promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He played in 63 games for the IronPigs and saw his numbers drop across the board. That is to be expected, however, as triple-A is far and beyond the toughest challenge for a prospect. Kingery slashed .294/.337/.449/.786 with 8 home runs, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 10 stolen bases, 13 walks — 4.5% BB% — and 58 strikeouts — 20.3% K%.
Eshelman, 23, like Kingery, began the season in Reading but was promoted after just 5 double-A starts. He logged 29 innings in those 5 starts, posting a 3.10 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 22:5 K:BB ratio.
Following a masterful 7-inning outing on May 2 in which he allowed just one hit, one run, and one walk, Eshelman was given a promotion to Lehigh Valley. The Californian then impressed even more with the IronPigs as he put up a number of career bests. He started 18 games in triple-A before being shut down recently due to an innings limit. In those 18 starts, Eshelman pitched 121 innings, besting his previous career high of 120.1 innings which came over the course of 24 high-A and double-A starts in 2016. Overall in 2017 Eshelman threw 150 innings. He achieved career bests in ERA (2.23), WHIP (0.94), BB/9 (0.97), and K/BB (6.15).
At the end of the Phillies’ press release, they give some more information on the award along with the date that Kingery and Eshelman will be acknowledged:
The Paul Owens Award was instituted in 1986, and is named for the late Paul Owens, who spent 48 years in the Phillies organization as a scout, farm director, general manager, manager and senior advisor. The players will receive their awards on the field on Sept. 19, prior to the Phillies' 7:05 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Congrats and see you in Philly, Scott and Tom!