After spending two seasons at Georgia Tech, Micah Owings finished his Collegiate career with Tulane in 2005, leading his team as a two-way player to become co-Conference Champions in the College World Series. This year, he's playing for a Tucson team with the best record in the PCL.
Now he's back in New Orleans, scheduled to start Thursday's game at Zephyr Field. Tulane has played its home games at Zephyr Field this year, and students can get discounted tickets to see one of their most successful Alumni ever. To top it off, it's Thirsty Thursday at the stadium ($1 beer), so you know that students have a little extra incentive to show their support.
It looks to be an exciting series for this special young prospect. FutureBacks caught up with Owings hours before the opening game of the series.[PREMIUM]
FutureBacks: Are you going to be going out after the games?
Micah Owings: Not tonight for sure! It's going to be a long day. I actually throw tomorrow (Thursday), so I'm going to try to get some rest and get ready for that. And get the good food that's always in New Orleans!
FutureBacks: Do you think that with the Tulane discount you might find more people rooting for you than for the Zephyrs on Thursday?
Micah Owings: I know a handful that will, but as for the rest of the crowd... whoever they cheer for, I'm excited to get back down to New Orleans and see some great people I was fortunate enough to get to know while I was down there.
FutureBacks: How do you compare the dry heat of the desert to the humidity in New Orleans?
Micah Owings: It's a different kind of heat. Lately, there's been a little bit of humidity, and I've actually been sweating a little bit more than usual. Of course, being from the east, I'm used to it. But since I've been in Tucson for, I guess six weeks now, it's definitely a different kind of heat. You're going to get some dust, too.
FutureBacks: The Sidewinders are doing really well this year. Does the winning atmosphere there remind you of last season with Tulane?
Micah Owings: It definitely does. Obviously, going to the park every day is always fun. It makes it even more fun when you go in knowing you have a chance to win every day. And this team, like you said, is unreal. It's definitely up there with the best teams - I've played on a lot of great teams; I'm not taking anything away from them - but this team, they're pretty good!
FutureBacks: Obviously, you've really shot through the Diamondbacks system. Have you noticed any major differences in hitters as you've advanced?
Micah Owings: Each stage of going up, you have to wonder at their strength: something that time and time again I keep seeing at each level. You try to be as perfect as you can when you go out anyway, but there's always going to be a mistake here and there. You just try to make that pitch when it counts. Basically, it's reminded me to take a step back and take each pitch at a time.
FutureBacks: Your walks have been up a little bit with Tucson. Is that a result of trying to be too perfect with some of your pitches?
Micah Owings: I think that that has a lot to do with it. Sometimes I try to be too fine. I don't consider [myself] being a wild fan of walks, but I think it's something that will happen just pitching on the corners here and there, and as a result, walking more guys than I would like, and walking more guys than I should.
FutureBacks: How are your breaking pitches coming?
Micah Owings: They feel good. [They are] one thing that I continue to work on, and it continues to benefit me while I'm here. It's definitely a focus that I'm not letting up on. I keep kind of working on my fastball, too.
FutureBacks: Are you anticipating a September callup at all?
Micah Owings: I don't go there. I'm just looking forward to playing tonight, being in New Orleans, and taking one game at a time, as well as just having fun with the team here. Let the guys who make those decisions make them.
Read more from Keith Glab at www.baseballevolution.com