Rudy Owens is coming off of a great season in Altoona, throwing 150 innings with a 2.46 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and, perhaps his most impressive #, 1.4 BB/9. As we know this season was a pleasant surprise but not a shock, because he did pitch great for West Virginia in 2009, again relying on a decent K rate (8.1) and a spectacular walk rate (1.3) through 100 innings.
And yet Owens is consistently considered to be a B prospect, an innings eater without ace upside. I don't know if this is because of his K rate, his velocity, his pitch repertoire, or some other reason why people who scouts don't love this kid. What would you have to see Owens do in the Minors to project him to be a great #1 starter with spectacular control, like Cliff Lee or Greg Maddux? Does he need to be able to throw 5-6 pitches? Is there not enough movement on his pitches? Are his walk rates deceiving, not indicative of his control? Why was he SO effective in Altoona this year?