Cheryl Pursell

Andrew Knapp and Ricardo Pinto were named winners of the 2015 Paul Owens Award

Catcher Andrew Knapp and pitcher Ricardo Pinto were named as the 2015 Paul Owens Award winners by the Phillies. The players will receive their awards at a pre-game ceremony next week.

The Paul Owens Award is given annually to the top position player and pitcher in the Phillies minor league system. The honor is named after former Phillies scout, farm director, general manager, manager and senior advisor Paul Owens, who spent 48 years in the Phillies organization. Owens passed away in 2003. Mike Lieberthal, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are just some of the players who have won the award. While pitchers include Ricky Bottalico, Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson.

This season, catcher Andrew Knapp and starting pitcher Ricardo Pinto were picked to win the award, which will be presented next week.

Knapp was having a good season at Clearwater when he was promoted to Double-A Reading on June 26th. From there, Knapp went on an offensive run that opened plenty of eyes. With Reading, Knapp hit 11-56-.360/.419/.631 in 55 games with the Fightins. His output pushed his combined season numbers to 13-84-.308/.385/.491 between Clearwater and Reading, giving him career-highs in home runs, RBI, average and games played. The 23-year old Knapp also threw out 36% of runners attempting to steal against him this season. Knapp finished fourth in the organization in average, fifth in home runs, and third in RBI this season.

Knapp was drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 2013 Draft out of the University of California. In three full minor league seasons, Knapp has a line of 23-139-.280/.355/.435 in the Phillies organization. Before being drafted by the Phillies, Knapp was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 41st round of the 2010 Draft, but did not sign.

Pinto, 21, started the season at Lakewood, but was moved to Clearwater after 11 starts with the BlueClaws. Consistency was the hallmark of Pinto's season with the two teams and he finished the season with a combined mark of 15-4 with a 2.97 ERA. Pinto's 15 wins was the high among Phillies minor leaguers this season. He also finished third in ERA and third in strikeouts, with 105 Ks in 145 1/3 innings pitched.


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