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Pencil Jerry Owens atop next year's lineup says Greg Walker

Greg Walker has found our future leadoff hitter:

"One of the good things to come out of this year -- and there are only a few -- is we really got a chance to sit back and watch these young guys over an extended period of time. The word I think about with [Owens] is 'encouraged.' The thing that sticks out is leadoff hitters are very, very rare. It's a rare commodity right now, guys that are true leadoff hitters. He has a chance to be one of those commodities.


Walker knows that as the season winds down, the coaching staff will get together and start offering opinions on personnel for next season. Although he isn't ready to write Owens' name atop the 2008 lineup in pen, he is willing to do it in pencil.

"The jury is still out on all of them, but they have time to change that. No decisions as far as next year have been made yet, but we have a lot of time to sit back and see if that changes. It's been fun to watch. It's been fun to see a rare commodity, a young kid [like Owens] do well. We still have 50-some games left, and I'm pulling for him. But to say that he's golden and ready to take over, no, he's not there yet. But he's doing everything we ask of him right now. Is he a young Kenny Lofton? We don't know that yet. But does he have a chance? Absolutely."