When he got to pitcher Mike Owens and a teammate, McCormack told The Daily News that both had major league ability.
For Owens, he was a month out of college, selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of that June's draft out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Owens' professional path would take some turns, notably turning from pitching to position player to pitching again. But that path would last a relatively short four seasons. He also ultimately wouldn't take his abilities to the majors.
Owens started with the Phillies at short-season Batavia, a team in the same league as the Utica, NY,-native Owens' home town team, the Utica Blue Sox.
At Batavia in 1988, Owens was a pitcher. He got into 13 games, starting 12. He also went just 1-7, with an ERA of 7.07.
Then, in 1989, Owens turned position player, playing largely at first base and some outfield. As a hitter, he hit .233, with 10 home runs and 33 RBI in 49 games.
Owens returned to Batavia and to the field in 1990, improving his average to .264 and hittign 12 home runs, knocking in 49. He also returned to the mound for a game, picking up a win for an inning of work.
For 1991, Owens moved to single-A Spartanburg. He also moved back to full-time pitching. In 16 outings, four starts, Owens went 3-1 with three saves. He got his third win in a late-June game. He picked up one of his saves in late-July. But it was Owens' final year as a pro.
- Philadelphia Daily News, July 19, 1988: Starting At The Bottom
Made the Majors: 677 - 57.4%
Never Made Majors: 503-42.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 292
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174