July 30, 2007 - International League (IL)
The International League announced today that Durham outfielder Jeremy Owens and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pitcher Phil Hughes have been named the League\'s Batter and Pitcher-of-the-Week for the period from July 23-29. Owens becomes the fifth member of the Durham Bulls to win an IL weekly award this season, most of any team in the League. He joins Jason Hammel (April 5-15), Andy Sonnanstine (April 23-29), Mitch Talbot (May 21-27), Justin Ruggiano (May 28- June 3), and Jae Seo (July 2-8 and July 16-22). Hughes is the third Yankees\' player to be so honored in 2007, following Shelley Duncan (April 5-15) and Steven White (June 25-July 1).
Durham\'s JEREMY OWENS pounded out 12 hits in just 19 at-bats this week, posting an unbelievable .632 batting average to best the rest of the International League by more than 150 points. The only player with more hits was Pawtucket\'s Joe McEwing, who needed 30 at-bats to collect 13 hits. Not surprisingly, Owens also led the circuit in on-base (.650) and slugging (.947) percentage. The only thing that could stop Owens this week was Mother Nature, as he failed to reach base just once - in Durham\'s suspended game Friday in which only three innings were played. In each of the six completed games in which he played, Owens hit safely in every one of them, including five multiple-hit performances. He doubled three times on Monday in Indianapolis for his first three-hit game of the season. After being given the day off Tuesday, Owens registered two hits in four of his next five games. Owens has been a huge contributor for the Bulls during the club\'s resurgence in July. He\'s hit .350 with eight doubles and 10 RBI in 22 games, helping Durham to a 16-9 record so far this month.
30-year-old Jeremy Owens is in his second season with the Tampa Bay organization. He signed with the Devil Rays prior to the 2006 campaign, which he spent helping the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits to the Southern League Championship. He was originally drafted in 1998 by San Diego, and has also spent time in the Boston system. Owens is a native of Johnson City, TN.
As he continues his comeback from hamstring and ankle injuries earlier in the season, Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre\'s PHIL HUGHES made just his fourth and fifth starts of the season at the Triple-A level this week, winning both outings to improve his record to 4-1. Hughes began the season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being injured in his second career Major League start with New York. His rehab, which began July 9 with Class-A Tampa and continued through two starts at Double-A Trenton, finally reached Triple-A this week as the right-handed phenom took the hill at home against Louisville and Rochester. In 12.2 combined innings, he allowed only five hits and four walks, while striking out eleven hitters. There were no runs scored against him in either start. Hughes threw a season-high 91 pitches Sunday in Rochester, perhaps signaling he is near full strength physically. The two victories this week helped the Yankees keep a lead in the IL North of 2.5 games as the season\'s final full month nears.
21-year-old Phil Hughes entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the top right-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball. Last year he earned New York\'s Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award, going 12-6 with a 2.16 ERA between Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. His Major League debut came in April with the Yankees. He was injured in his second start after taking a
no-hitter into the 7th inning at Texas. Hughes is a native of Dalton, GA.