Owen Wins Sterling Award as 'Clones Top Player|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, September 21, 2007
Going 9-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 13 starts for the Cyclones this season, Dylan Owen has won the Sterling Award as the organization’s top player.
Despite his prowess on the mound this season, Owen was probably the last person most people thought was capable of putting together such an amazing season.
Drafted in the 20th round this season by the Mets, the right-handed hurler didn’t think he’d even crack the starting rotation before the season began.
“From what they tell me, I’ll be headed to Brooklyn and will get a few spot starts here and there and work out of the bullpen,” Owen said, a few days after he was drafted. “All I can do is work hard and do my best. I’m just happy to be a part of a professional ball club and will do everything in my power to help the team win.”
The Mets weren’t lying to the youngster either, as Owen was on the bottom of the depth chart when the season began and looked to be in the same situation pitchers like Josh Appell and David Koons were in the season before, with no real role and no idea when they were going to pitch. However, when both Todd Privett and J.J. Leaper went down with season-ending elbow injuries, Owen stepped up and cemented his role on the team.
Even if the odds were always against him while he was doing it.
“He was a last minute start, but he gave us everything he had,” said manager Edgar Alfonzo after Owen struck out six hitters in five no-hit innings during his first professional start on June 26. “He has really good stuff and you can tell just by looking at him that he loves being out there. We don’t know if he’s going to stay in the rotation at this point, but I think he’s earned at least one more start.”
From that point on, Owen became a fixture in the Brooklyn staff and earned himself a NY-Penn League All-Star nod, making his first season in professional baseball a special one. More importantly though, the laid back 21-year-old, who led his team and the league in wins and ERA throughout the season, never managed to get too high and maintained a confident demeanor that got him through the season in grand style.
“I just do what I always do,” said Owen after a start at Keyspan Park in August. “I throw my pitches and hope the defense supports me. I don’t really have time to worry out there and I’ve never been the type of guy that falls under pressure, so I just go in and try and do my best every time I’m out there. That’s my job.”
Believing that regardless of how well he pitched, he always had something to prove, Owen set an example on the field that every player in Brooklyn followed instinctively.
“I’ve just tried to make sure the organization knew how good I could pitch when I had the chance,” he said. “Luckily, I got the chance and I’ve played my best. I haven’t given them a reason to take me out yet.”
Playing a key role in the team’s McNamara Division Championship this season, Owen’s career looks to take off after an amazing first year in Brooklyn. Regardless of his new status as a top prospect in the organization, however, Owen is still taking things one day at a time.
“This season has been a dream come true for me, but I know things can change quickly in this sport,” he said. “It’s my job to make sure I always work hard and do my best. So far, I think I’ve done a good job at that.”