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Arizona Diamondbacks All Time Top 50: #46 Micah Owings

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Before Paul Goldschmidt, this #44 was a force with the bat, too. Except he was a pitcher.

NLCS: Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies - Game 4 Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
  • Avg ranking (high/low/most common): 39.98 (11/50/48)
  • Seasons: 2007-2008, 2011
  • Stats with Arizona: 84 appearances, 49 starts, 320.1 IP, 4.69 ERA, 97 ERA+, 3.7 bWAR (1.6 pitching + 2.1 hitting)
  • Best season: 2007 - 27 starts, 152.2 IP, 4.30 ERA, 111 ERA+, 3.0 bWAR (1.6 pitching + 1.4 hitting)

Uniform #44 makes its first appearance on the All Time Top 50, and this man held his own with the bat much like Paul Goldschmidt. Micah Owings mashed home runs like it was his job when in fact his primary focus was trying to not surrender them himself. That is a bit hyperbole, but he swung the bat well for a pitcher nonetheless. Owings was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft out of Tulane University. It should come as no surprise that he was a force with the bat during his first major league season. His 69 home runs in his high school career from 1999-2002 still rank 4th all time in the nation, and is the current Georgia state record. He won the 5th spot in the rotation out of Spring Training in 2007, and made his big league debut on April 6th, 2007 against the Washington Nationals.

Owings’ first career home run was on July 26th, 2007 against the Florida Marlins off of former D’back Byung-Hyun Kim, a 2 run shot in the 2nd inning to left field. His first complete game came against the Houston Astros on May 24th striking out a season high 8 batters and allowing 9 hits, also a season high. Owings registered a historic performance at the plate for a pitcher on August 18th of that season in his home state of Georgia against the Braves. He went 4 for 5 at the plate with 2 home runs, 6 RBI’s, and was a triple shy of the cycle. Owings was the first pitcher to have 4 hits and score 4 runs since 1988, and became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to hit 2 home runs in a game. Micah’s hitting prowess won him the National League Silver Slugger for pitchers that season after finishing the season with a slash line of .333/.349/.683 and 4 home runs.

Manager Bob Melvin made an effort to get Micah into games on days when he was not pitching as a pinch hitter with 18 pinch hit plate appearances during the 2008 season. Although his strong performance at the plate continued, he struggled mightily on the mound with a 5.93 ERA in 18 starts. He was ultimately traded to the Cincinnati Reds after the non waiver deadline along with Dallas Buck and Wilkin Castillo for Adam Dunn.

Owings never really found success during his time in Cincinnati, was sent to the minors in 2010 as a result, and finally made his way back to the Diamondbacks organization as a minor league free agent in 2011. The Diamondbacks kicked around the idea of developing him as a first baseman during Spring Training, but there was a new #44 pounding on the door at that position in the minors in the form of Paul Goldschmidt. He returned to the big league club at starting pitcher on May 21st against the Minnesota Twins. Micah only made 4 starts that season, seeing most of his time coming out of the bullpen. He was rather successful again that season carrying a 111 ERA+, and found himself in the playoffs with the Diamondbacks again in 2011, his first time being his debut season in 2007.

Since 2011 his professional career has been a journey bouncing from the minor league systems for the San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, Miami Marlins, Seattle Mariners, and even the independent leagues.