2011 Top Pirates Prospects: #7 – Rudy Owens

The Pirates Prospects 2011 Prospect Guide was released last week, featuring 237 prospect reports, interviews with Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, Zack Von Rosenberg, and Zack Dodson, the 2011 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, the top ten prospects will be released on the site.

Be sure to purchase your copy of the book by clicking “Buy Now” at the bottom of this page (or to the right).

To recap the countdown so far:

10. Colton Cain
9. Zack Von Rosenberg
8. Jeff Locke

We continue the countdown with the number seven prospect, Rudy Owens.

7. Rudy Owens, LHP

Owens saw his velocity increase to 90-93 MPH at the end of the 2011 season.

Owens was in the last draft-and-follow class, signing with the Pirates for $390 K. After less than impressive numbers in the lower levels, he became a breakout prospect in 2009, winning the Pirates’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year award the last two seasons.

A lot of the credit for Rudy’s success comes from his fastball command. He can locate the fastball wherever he wants, and saw a velocity increase towards the end of the 2010 season, with his fastball ranging between 90-93 MPH. Owens compliments his fastball with an above average changeup and a curveball. His changeup is possibly the best in the farm system, border lining as a plus offering, and he has picked up the curveball quickly, despite only learning the pitch in 2009. Owens has also worked on adding a two-seam fastball to his mix in the last year.

Owens has the chance to be a very special pitcher, with the upside of a number 2-3 starter. He has three average-to-above average pitches, with his fastball control being a borderline plus tool. Rudy works fast and attacks the strike zone. He could be in the majors as soon as June 2011.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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