Easy delivery; low energy expending; loose thrower; 3/4 arm slot; across body delivery; soft front foot landing; ball comes out of body late; long arm enables leverage when locked into release point; can release early when landing isn't in sync with arm; lot of body to control.
Portland Sea Dogs (AA, Red Sox)
Solid-average command; downward movement through strike zone when creating leverage; some late tail; jumped on hitters due to deceptive release; flat when elevated; type of fastball that will need to be spotted consistently at highest level; will change eye level; tended to pitch middle-away to righties; will need to stay on hands when pitching inside to righties; can work too up when not finishing.
Solid-average command; displays arm-side fade; can also turn over to glove side; quality depth and action to offering; excellent arm-speed; seamless release to fastball; bat missing offering at highest level; throws for strikes; confident to use at any point in the count; can leave in middle of the plate from time to time.
Fringe-average command; big, slow bend; not a lot of power to pitch - on the soft side; could stand to throw harder to get bats started quicker; hitters can sit back on it; used sparingly in the outing; will alter shape; more of a change of pace than chase pitch; don't project it to miss a lot of bats.
Owens' fastball velocity was on the pedestrian side in this outing, but the tall left-hander used his body well to consistently throw downhill when delivering the offering. Throughout the start, he stayed on top of the ball and was able to replicate his release point with the majority of his heaters. This enabled Owens to throw to spots in the lower tier of the strike zone, where the plane he created forced hitters to get on top of the ball.
While the pitcher did get some swings-and-misses when elevated with his fastball, I don't see the pitch being effective in this area against big league hitters. Owens is deceptive overall, with the ball seaming to jump out of his body at the last instance, but he's likely to get hurt often working in this area. I do have some concerns about how the fastball is going to play if this was a peak representation of the command.
Owens' changeup showed as his best pitch in this outing. There's plenty of fastball guise, and hitters consistently swung over the top of it. My feel is that this offering will continue to play as the lefty advances further. The deception, along with the separation in velocity, will force even the better of hitters to commit early. Owens' sprinkled his curveball in towards the end of the start, and I'm not big on the present look of the pitch. The lack of power will give major league hitters a chance to recover even when they have committed early.
Owens will need to demonstrate solid-average-to-plus command of his fastball on a consistent basis to fully reach his ceiling. In this outing, it looked like the pitcher was focusing hard on finishing his delivery and working down in the zone. The execution showed. There is a finer margin of error here given the profile of the overall repertoire. On nights when Owens' fastball is just a bit off, it is likely to be difficult. I see the prospect over the long-haul projecting towards the back of a rotation, where he can provide a lot of innings and value as a reliable, complimentary piece of a good staff.