The D-backs selected Chris Owings 41st overall as the second of their three sandwich picks between the first and second rounds of the draft this year. Though selected as a shortstop, many believe that Owings will be better-suited for second base as a professional. Owings projects to hit for a solid batting average and runs well, but currently possesses little power to speak of.
The Gilbert High School graduate had committed to USC and held out for two months after his draft selection in order to increase his signing bonus. He was successful, as his final bonus wound up totaling more than $100,000 over the MLB suggestion for his draft slot.
"This is what I wanted to do, but I wasn't 100 percent sure it was going to work out," Owings told TheState.com. "We kept saying, ‘They picked me for a reason.'"
A big part of that reason was the fact that Owings led Gilbert High to Class 2A state championships in 2006 and 2008. He batted .400 with five homers, 20 RBI, and 22 stolen bases his senior season. He will join the Missoula Osprey shortly and participate in the instructional league this fall.
"I'm relieved that I now know what I'm doing, Owings said. "I've been waiting to figure out where I was going; I'm excited to be starting my professional career."
The Arizona Diamondbacks have until midnight on Monday, August 17 to sign any remaining draft picks. While they have come to terms with 26 of their first 29 selections in a draft in which they held five extra picks, the D-backs have thus far failed to corral 16th overall selection Bobby Borchering.
Borchering was regarded as one of the best power bats of the draft, grading with a 70 potential on the 20-80 scale and has drawn comparisons to future Hall of famer Chipper Jones. He had signed a letter of intent with the University of Florida prior to being selected by the D-backs in June. The 18-year old third baseman may honor that commitment, or he may join Stephen Drew, Max Scherzer, and Jarrod Parker as recent first-rounders to sign last-minute with the Diamondbacks.
Third baseman Matthew Helm (7th round) and southpaw Patrick Shuster (13th) are the other relatively high picks that have not signed. Both high school draftees are expected to honor their college commitments. Most of the players taken in the second half of the draft are not expected to sign in a given year due to the practically non-existent bonus money, long odds of reaching the majors, and other individual factors.
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