09/02/2003 4:50 PM ET
Phillies announce 2003 Paul Owens Award winners
First baseman Ryan Howard and lefthander Cole Hamels were named the winners of the 2003 Paul Owens Award as the best player and pitcher in the Phillies minor league system.
Howard, 23, spent the entire season with single-A Clearwater. He came very close to the Florida State League triple crown, leading the league with a .304 average and 23 home runs, but finishing second with 82 RBI, seven short of the leader. Additionally, he led the league in slugging percentage (.514), finished third in hits (149) and on-base percentage (.374) and fourth in doubles (32).
"Ryan had a quality year for us and made good strides at the plate, while coming along well defensively," said Mike Arbuckle, Phillies Assistant General Manager, Scouting and Player Development. "His work ethic will help him to continue improving. He has a good Major League future ahead."
Earlier this season, Howard was selected to play in Major League Baseball's All-Star Futures Games at U.S. Cellular Field. He was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2001 draft.
The Phillies' first-round selection in last year's draft, Hamels began his first professional season with single-A Lakewood. At just 19 years old, he went 6-1 with a 0.84 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 115 South Atlantic League batters in just 74.2 innings. In late July, he was promoted to Clearwater where he made five starts to finish the season, going 0-2 with a 2.73 ERA.
"Cole made two jumps in leagues during the season and handled both of them well," said Arbuckle. "He's got good stuff along with a good ability to pitch that will allow him to be a very successful Major League pitcher in the not-too-distant future."
Both Howard and Hamels will be at Veterans Stadium on Friday night, September 19, to accept their awards during a pre-game ceremony.