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Franco, Gonzalez named 2013 Paul Owens Award winners

Infielder Maikel Franco and right-hander Severino Gonzalez have been named the recipients of the 2013 Paul Owens Awards as the best player and pitcher, respectively, in the Phillies minor league system, Joe Jordan, Director, Player Development announced today.

The awards will be presented on the field on Monday, September 16, prior to the Phillies' 7:05 game against the Miami Marlins.

Franco batted .320 with 36 doubles, 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading. Named a midseason Florida State League All-Star with the Threshers, Franco led all of Minor League Baseball with 308 total bases this year. At just 21 years old Franco finished tied for second in MiLB in extra-base hits (70), ranked fourth in hits (173), tied for seventh in HR and tied for eighth in RBI.

Gonzalez, 20, went 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA in 25 combined games (14 starts) between low-A Lakewood, Clearwater and Reading this year. With 119 strikeouts in 103.2 total innings this season Gonzalez averaged 10.33 strikeouts per nine innings. The Santiago, Panama native went 6.2 innings and picked up the win in his double-A debut yesterday for Reading.

 "Maikel had a remarkable year between Clearwater and Reading," said Jordan. "His offensive production rivals any 20- or 21-year-old in Minor League Baseball. He has become a very dangerous and productive hitter. Severino firmly established himself as one of our most exciting young pitching prospects. He pitches with tremendous confidence and savvy beyond his age. We are very proud for both players."

Gonzalez and Franco were both originally signed by the Phillies as amateur free agents. Gonzalez was signed on April 27, 2011, by Allan Lewis while Franco was signed on January 13, 2010, by Koby Perez.

Instituted in 1986, the award is named for the late Paul Owens, who spent 48 years in the Phillies organization as scout, farm director, general manager, manager and senior advisor.

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