Billy Owens

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William General Owens

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Billy Owens reached AAA as a player then went into administration.

Owens played both baseball and football at Arizona. He hit .339/~.388/.446 as a college freshman. His junior year, he batted .311 and slugged .587 as Arizona finished 13th in NCAA Division I. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 1992 amateur draft, the 72nd overall pick. He was the third first baseman chosen, none of whom would reach the majors (Eddie Pearson and Dan Melendez were the first two). Owens hit an unimpressive .254/.313/.332 that summer for the Kane County Cougars. In 1993, he played for the Albany Polecats (.297/.364/.428 in 120 G) and Frederick Keys (21 for 60, 4 2B, 3 BB), hitting a composite .303. He was 9th in the South Atlantic League in average and had only slightly worse numbers than the SAL All-Star 1B, D.J. Boston. His contact got worse while his power picked up in 1994 with stints for the Keys (.228/.322/.398 in 86 G) and Bowie Baysox (.228/.276/.372 in 43 G), hitting 17 home runs and driving in 71 for the summer.

Owens again drilled 17 dingers in 1995, this time with the Baysox (.269/.329/.442, 17 HR, 27 2B, 91 RBI) and Rochester Red Wings (4 for 28, BB). He tied Ben Shelton and Pat Bryant for 8th in the Eastern League in home runs and tied Chris Sheff for 4th in RBI. In 1996, he was with the Red Wings (.254/.290/.398 in 61 G) and GCL Orioles (3 for 18, presumably on a rehab stint).

Moving to the Houston Astros chain for his final two seasons, he spent 1997 with the Kissimmee Cobras and hit .283/.319/.420. In 1998, he played for Kissimmee (6 for 33, 2 HR, 4 BB) and the Jackson Generals (.264/.322/.415 in 53 G) to end his playing career. Overall, he had hit .264/.322/.402 in 696 minor league games, with 309 runs, 395 RBI, 131 doubles and 70 home runs.

Following his playing days, he was a minor league hitting coach in the Oakland Athletics system from 1999 to 2003, working with the Southern Oregon Timberjacks for one year, then the Vancouver Canadians for two and finally the AZL Athletics for two. Since then, he has been the A's Director of Player Personnel (a role he still holds as of 2013). He also has spent time as an area scout and East Coast Scouting Coordinator for the A's. He signed Freddie Bynum.