PITTSBURGH –Altoona Curve starting pitcher Rudy Owens and former Curve outfielder Alex Presley have been named the Pirates Organizational Players of the Year, the team announced at PNC Park on Friday night. Owens was named the Pirates Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year while Presley was honored as the Player of the Year.
Presley, 25, had a breakout season that began in Altoona and ended with an eventual call up to Pittsburgh in early September. He shot out of the gate with a 19-game hitting streak, which wound up second all-time in the Curve record books, and went on to reach base safely in 24 straight games while leading the league in batting. The Monroe, La. native drove in eight runs in a game for Altoona on May 24 in Akron, which broke Adam Hyzdu’s previous mark of seven RBI in a game, a record that had stood for 10 years.
He hit a blistering .391 in the month of May to lead the E.L. while also driving in 26 runs, which was second most in the circuit. At the time of his departure to Triple-A Indy, Presley was batting .350 with 13 doubles, seven triples, six home runs and 47 RBI in 67 games with the Curve. The Ole’ Miss product went on to hit for the cycle with Indianapolis on June 27 and was the first player in Indians’ history to do so.
Owens, 22, followed up a breakout 2009 season with a strong 2010 where he finished the year leading the Eastern League in ERA (2.46), WHIP (0.98) and was tied for second in wins with 12. He was named a midseason and postseason Eastern League All-Star and was also the winning pitcher in Altoona’s division-clinching win over Bowie on August 31.
His 12 wins not only tied him for the team lead and second in the E.L. but are also third most in franchise history for wins by a pitcher in a single season. The 132 strikeouts he registered in 2010 rank him third in team history as well. The Mesa, Ariz. native ended the regular season having not allowing a run in four of his last five starts while walking just three in a combined 27 innings.
Early bird season ticket specials for the 2011 Altoona Curve season are on sale now by calling 877.99.CURVE or by stopping by the team offices at Blair County Ballpark during normal business hours.