Dodgers: Henry Owens Claimed Off Waivers From Arizona
The Dodgers are still working to find their next Brandon Morrow out of the bargain bin. After signing Tom Koehler, the Dodgers added one more potential reclamation project on Friday.
The Dodgers picked up Henry Owens off of waivers today from the Diamondbacks.
Before the quick pit stop in Arizona, literally 14 days, he was a top prospect for the Red Sox but never made the impact they were hoping he would when they selected him with a first round pick in 2011. For Owens, the 25-year-old Huntington Beach native is coming home with a chance to turn his career around and make an impact on a team who was a game away from a World Series title a year ago.
Owens was drafted in 2011 out of Edison High School in HB, where he enjoyed a .96 CAREER ERA and is the all-time leader in strikeouts. From the day he was selected, he was considered a top 10 prospect for their organization, ranking as high as No. 2 for them in 2015. Since climbing the ranks to the bigs, Owens has yet to find much success. Two years with a combined ERA of 5.19 over 85 innings and control issues peppered in eventually led to his release.
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It’s yet to be noted if he will start or relieve for LA, but neither should be off the board. Much like top prospect Tony Cingrani, Owens’ move here could be the perfect remedy, especially under the tutelage of Rick Honeycutt. He doesn’t have quite the velo, hovering around 90 during his starts, but a move to the pen could boost that as it has with many others. Right now, Owens isn’t much more than a fringe starter, but if the Dodgers can help him regain what made him so special coming out of high school, this could be a major pickup to look back on.
The irony out of this pickup is that the Diamondbacks let Owens go because they signed Japanese reliever Yoshihisa Hirano who the Dodgers reportedly had interest in. Wouldn’t it be something if Hirano ends up being a bust for the Diamondbacks, while Owens becomes the next successful reclamation reliever for the Dodgers? Owens is in the mold of recent signing Tom Koehler who is a middling starter that could be more effective out the bullpen.
Next: How will the Dodgers replace Charlie Culberson?
Owens was once a top 100 prospect in baseball in 2003, as he ranked 52nd on the list. Given he is 6’6 and has a couple of secondary pitches, he could wind up being a situational lefty out of the bullpen. At worst he ends up a no-risk gamble that doesn’t pan out, but these are the kind of no risk signings clubs must make to try and fight lightning in a bottle. Friedman has found it twice in a row with Joe Blanton in 2016, and Brandon Morrow in 2017, so maybe Owens is the next bottle of lightning for Friedman.