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Micah Owings

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Micah Owings

A photo of Micah Owings.

Micah Burton Owings (born September 28, 1982 in Gainesville, Georgia) is a major league baseball player, a right-handed pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A breakout star in the 2007 season, Owings finished the season with a memorable performance in his home state, a complete game shut-out, and an impressive batting record, which earned him the 2007 Silver Slugger Award for excellence at the plate. Owings is widely regarded as the best hitting pitcher in the majors, and the Diamondbacks frequently use him as a pinch hitter.

Early life and careerEdit

Owings holds Georgia's high school home run record with 69, fourth in the nation only to Drew Henson, Jeff Clement, and James Peterson. As a sophomore, he hit .630 with 21 homers; as a senior he hit .448 with 25 home runs while going 12-1 on the mound with a 1.03 ERA, 121 strikeouts, 3 walks in 75 innings. Owings played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Forsyth Central High School in Cumming and transferred to Gainesville High School as a junior.

Owings played college baseball at Georgia Tech in 2003 and 2004 before transferring to Tulane University in New Orleans.[1]

He was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2nd round (50th overall) in the 2002 Major League Baseball draft but did not sign with them. He was selected again in 2003 in the 19th round (576th overall) by the Chicago Cubs and again chose not to sign. In 2005, he was selected in the third round by the Arizona Diamondbacks (83rd overall).

After signing with the D-backs, he was assigned to the Single-A Lancaster Jethawks. He pitched in 16 games out of the bullpen, going 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA. In 2006, he played in Double-A and Triple-A for the Tennessee Smokies and the Tucson Sidewinders, respectively. He made 12 starts for the Smokies and went 6-2 with a 2.88 ERA. His stats in Triple-A were also impressive, in which he went a perfect 10-0 with a 3.75 ERA in just 15 starts.

Major league careerEdit

Owings made his major league debut on April 6, 2007 against the Washington Nationals. He pitched five shutout innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out six. Originally brought up to fill a starter spot while Randy Johnson recovered from back surgery, management was very impressed by his performances. He now holds a starter spot in the Diamondbacks rotation. On July 26, Owings hit his first Major League home run against Byung-Hyun Kim of the Florida Marlins.

Owings was having an uneventful season in the major leagues in 2007, until his return to the state of Georgia to face the Atlanta Braves on August 18, 2007. In front of more than 48,000 fans, he pitched 7.0 innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs, striking out seven. However, it was his batting performance that made it a career night. Owings went 4 for 5 at the plate, including two home runs, scoring four times, and knocking in six runs. He is the first pitcher with four hits, four runs and six RBI in the same game. The last pitcher in the Major Leagues to record four hits and four runs was Danny Jackson in 1988. Owings' 11 total bases are the most by a pitcher in the last 50 seasons. The last Arizona player to have four hits, two homers, four runs and six RBI was Shea Hillenbrand in 2003. He was also the first Diamondbacks pitcher to have 2 home runs in one game. The Diamondbacks would win the game 12-6.

After the game, Owings said "It's up there with the best ever. To be back home and have the game I had tonight, I'm just unbelievably blessed." [citation needed]

Following two particularly poor outings in early September 2007 (pulled before the fourth inning in each, with a combined 12 runs scored), Owings pitched his first Major League complete game shutout on September 18, 2007, allowing only two hits against the San Francisco Giants.[2]

Later in 2007, on September 27, Owings made an emergency start in place of Brandon Webb and pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball, while going 4-for-4 at the plate with three doubles and three RBI. He became the first pitcher since Whitey Ford to have two 4-hit games in one season. His batting average of .333 for the 2007 season ranks fourth best for pitchers with more than 50 ABs (20 hits in 60 at bats) since 1973, the beginning of the Designated Hitter era (in the American League).

On December 5, 2007, the Arizona Republic newspaper reported that the Diamondbacks were considering playing Owings at first base during the days that he was not pitching, in an effort to get his potent bat into the lineup on a more regular basis. [3]

On April 30, 2008, Owings had a pinch-hit 2-run home run against the Houston Astros. It was the first pinch homer by a pitcher in the majors in more than four years. Brooks Kieschnick of the Milwaukee Brewers had last done it against Matt Mantei of the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 22, 2004.[4]

In 2008 Brad Ausmus said: "We rarely go over a pitcher in the meeting when we talk about how to approach the opponent's hitters, but we went out of our way to discuss how we'd pitch to him."[1]


In 2007 Owings was awarded the Silver Slugger Award for National League pitchers. [5]


  1. Player Bio: Micah Owings. Tulane Athletic Association. Retrieved on 2007-09-16.
  2. Owings stellar as D-backs stay on top. Retrieved on 2007-09-19.
  3. Who's on 1st? Maybe Owings. Retrieved on 2007-12-05.
  4. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  5. Seven first-timers win Silver Sluggers. Retrieved on 2007-11-09.

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