READING, Pa.---Reading Fightin Phils infielder Maikel Franco and pitcher Severino Gonzalez were named the 2013 Paul Owens Awards Recipients by the Philadelphia Phillies Monday afternoon. Each season the awarded is presented to the top minor league player and pitcher in the organization.
The duo will be presented the awards at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, September 16 prior to the Phillies' 7:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins.
Franco joined the Reading roster on June 20th after hitting .299 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs in 65 games with the advanced-A Clearwater Threshers. His stayed hot in his 69 games at the Double-A level, launching 15 homers and driving in 51 runs while hitting .339.
Between Clearwater and Reading, the 21-year old hit .320, best in the Phillies system, with 31 home runs and 103 RBIs in 134 total games. For his efforts, Franco was named a midseason Florida State League All-Star with the Threshers. He also ranked among MiLB leaders where he is first in total bases (308), tied for second in extra-base hits (70), fourth in hits (173), seventh in home runs, and tied for eighth in RBIs.
Franco was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on January 13, 2010 out of the Dominican Republic.
Gonzalez joined the Fightins on the final day of the 2013 season and picked up the winning decision after throwing six and 2/3 innings where allowed two earned runs, struck out six, and walked none in his Double-A debut. The 20-year old Panamanian went 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA in 25 games where he made 14 starts with stops in low-A Lakewood and Clearwater. He struck out a staggering 119 batters while walking just 22 batters this season.
Signed out of Panama on April 27, 2011, Gonzalez just completed his third professional season.
The award was founded in 1986 and named for the late Paul Owens, who spent 48 years with the Phillies as a scout, farm director, general manager, manager, and senior advisor.
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