LAKEWOOD, NJ - Two former BlueClaws, 2011/2012 third baseman Maikel Franco and 2013 pitcher Severino Gonzalez, were named winners of the 2013 Paul Owens Award, handed out annually to the best position player and pitcher in the Phillies minor league system.
Franco, 21, spent three weeks in 2011 and all of 2012 with the BlueClaws. Last year, he hit .280 with 14 home runs and 84 RBIs, doing much of his damage in the second half, where he hit .346 with 8 home runs and a league leading 57 RBIs.
He opened this year with Clearwater, hitting .299 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs before a June promotion to Reading, where he hit .339 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs. Franco led the minors this year in total bases (308) and was second in extra-base hits (70).
Gonzalez, who turns 21 on September 28th, went 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA across three levels, pitching for Clearwater, Lakewood, and Reading, after having never pitched above the Venezuelan Summer League entering this season.
He made four starts with the BlueClaws in June and early July, going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA, striking out 31 hitters in 21 innings. In one game, July 2nd against Delmarva, he retired all 18 hitters he faced over six innings, striking out nine.
He finished the season in Reading, earning a Labor Day win after allowing two runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
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 adviser.
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