Owings brings home Silver Slugger honors

The winner of the Silver Slugger award for National League pitchers will certainly come as no surprise to anyone who was at Atlanta's Turner Field on Aug. 18.

How could it be anyone else other than Gainesville native Micah Owings, who won the honor Friday.

The rookie right-hander hit two homers, drove in six runs and had four hits while pitching the Arizona Diamondbacks to a victory over the Braves.

Making it even nicer, Owings' family saw the outing as a large contingent from Hall County made the trip to root him on.

At Georgia Tech and then Tulane, Owings was a feared designated hitter when not pitching and he certainly showed that he could still swing the bat against major league pitching.

Owings, who was 8-8 with a 4.30 ERA, was even more impressive at the plate than on the mound. He finished with a .333 average, four homers and 15 RBIs.

The game against the Braves was not the only big night at the plate for Owings, who set the Georgia high school record for homers. He had a 4-for-4 game in Pittsburgh that included three doubles.

The Braves were shut out this year in the Silver Slugger voting, which is done by managers and coaches.

Catcher Brian McCann won last season, but the Duluth product was beaten out this year by Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chipper Jones lost out at third base to the New York Mets' David Wright despite finishing second in the National League batting race with a .337 average.

Two Braves claimed postseason honors earlier this week. Right fielder Jeff Francoeur of Lilburn won his first Gold Glove, while center fielder Andruw Jones took his 10th straight.

Jones is leaving the Braves as a free agent, but the team has repeatedly said that it has no plans to move Francoeur to center field.