Projecting The Call Up – Jerry Owens?

Friday shouldfind the White Sox making a move to replace Darin Erstad (ankle). The
candidates from the farm appear to be Jerry Owens and Ryan Sweeney according to
Ozzie Guillen in the Chicago Sun-Times. Guillen said the organization was
leaning toward the speedy Owens because of his leadoff ability.

 

Sweeney
is the more prolific prospect but not one I’ve personally ever been 100 percent
sold on. Brian Anderson is the other Triple-A outfielder of note, but the
25-year-old failed to impress in 2006 and isn’t making much noise in the International
League at present with a .272/.350/.417 performance in 28 games; he went
3-for-5 with a double on Thursday.  All
three could play centerfield in a pinch although Sweeney has always profiled more
as a right fielder. The knock on him at present is a lack of power and his nine
extra base hits and three home runs (.400 slugging) suggests he’s not banging on
the door loud enough yet.

 

Owens
seems like the better fit for now; a legitimate leadoff type with speed. The
second round Expos’ pick in 2003 and former USC football player –- traded to the White
Sox for Alex Escobar –- has stolen 109 bases in three full pro seasons coming
into this year (23 this season), and had nine at-bats in the majors in 2006. As a late-bloomer
overage college pick he’s 25, but not a veteran minor leaguer. He’s a sold prospect
that should fit the team’s current need, capable of taking a walk and getting
on base, with plenty of speed for both centerfield and the base paths, but he
won’t give you much power, probably less than Erstad (short term) who has a .341 slugging
this year, a .371 the three years prior.

 

I like
Owens as a decent leadoff prospect and an exciting athlete. I’m looking forward
to him getting regular time, hoping he can change the manager’s mind on Erstad,
as Guillen has become overly fond of “veteran-ness” in recent days
.

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