Chris Owings, shortstop of the future? - Christian Petersen
We were talking about Davidson just a couple of days ago, as the likely front-runner for third-baseman of the future, and John looked at him in more depth just before Christmas. A first-round pick in the 2009 draft, Davidson struggled in his pro debut, with a ..631 OPS as an 18-year old at Yakima. But he hit very well at South Bend the next year and, after initially struggling when promoted to Visalia, hit well again there in 2011 and for Double-A Mobile last season. The general consensus is that he's gonna have to work to keep his defense good enough for the hot corner, but a good arm should help compensate for a lack of range.
Factoid to drop in: Used also to be a pitcher in high-school, but wanted to play every day, so dropped that aspect of his game when he turned pro.
If Griffin keeps hitting as he has, he could be opening eyes this spring. In 204 pro games, he already has 46 home-runs - and isn't just a slugger, either, as he has hit over .300. Not bad for a 21st-round pick out of an unheralded college, Central Florida. He had 28 homers last year, and only a handful of prospects his age had more than that. The problem is, he's a first-baseman, can't play anywhere else, and the Diamondbacks already have one of those. We'll see how he progresses, but could end up being traded to another team, since it's hard to see us finding room for him.
Factoid to drop in: At 6'7" and 250 pounds, the name "Goldschmidt Lite" is both appropriate and...not.
Not to be confused with his brother, Kala Ka`aihue, who was a prospect in the Braves organization for a bit, or with his father, also called Kala Ka`aihue, who was also a minor-leaguer. Kila was, at the start of the 2011 season, the regular first-baseman for the Royals, but slumped his way out of a job, hitting .195. This year wasn't much better, as he was DFA'd by the Athletics, just before his wife was due to give birth to twins. He's the kind of player who has always promised much but, at the major-league level, has yet to produce. However, doesn't take a lot to see him being a better platoon partner than Eric Hinske for Goldschmidt.
Factoid to drop in: Just call him Micah, because that's his actual first name. Easier than KEY-luh Kuh-eye-HOO-a.
Another potential regular Diamondback, though his de facto position as shortstop of the future has been weakened significantly by recent acquisitions, and a move to second-base as an alternative is not inconceivable. Seems to have been with the organization forever - this will be his third time at Spring Training camp - but Owings was a high-school pick, and only reached the legal drinking age in August. Struggled a bit after his call-up in June to Mobile, with a K:BB ratio of 69:11 and a .668 OPS, so will probably start off there again in 2013. After that? The future is a little murkier than it was at this point last season.
Factoid to drop in: Played alongside Jon Mark Owings in Visalia during 2011 - who is not related to Chris, but is Micah Owings' brother. Chris's older sibling is Kyle, a pitcher who was signed as an undrafted free-agent by the D-backs last July. Are we confused yet?