Orem Owlz

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]

The Orem Owlz are a Los Angeles Angels affiliate in the Pioneer League. Previously known as the Provo Angels, they became the Owls in 2005, and since then have played their home games at the logically named Home of the OWLZ in Orem, Utah. In their first season, the club captured the league championship under the leadership of manager Tom Kotchman, and they repeated the feat two years later.

During the 2018 season, owner Jeff Katofsky was quoted as saying he was looking at options to relocate the team to another city, possibly [Pueblo, CO]], but backed out of the potential move when plans to built a $25-million facility in Pueblo hit roadblocks.

After winning the 2004 league title as the Provo Angels, Kotchman led the newly christened Owlz to a repeat championship in 2005. Despite finishing with a .500 overall record, they captured the second half division title and beat the Ogden Raptors in the first round before sweeping the Helena Brewers for the crown. Shortstop Hainley Statia (.300/.360/.426) was impressive defensively and was named the league's #3 prospect by Baseball America.

The Owlz then captured their division title in both halves of the 2006 season but were swept by the Idaho Falls Chukars in the first round of the playoffs. On the mound the club was led by Sean O'Sullivan, who went 4-0 with a league leading 2.14 ERA, and outfielder Chris Pettit hit .336 with 7 home runs to power the team's offense. Once again in 2007, Kotchman's team won a championship despite finishing first in neither half of the season. Overall, the team played sub-.500 ball during the regular season, but they defeated Idaho Falls in the playoffs before sweeping the Great Falls White Sox to win the league title. Robert Fish paced the pitching staff, going 3-4 with a 3.27 ERA and tying for the league lead with 77 strikeouts.

The Owlz posted a league-best record of 52-23 in 2008 and captured the South Division title in both halves of the season. With skipper Kotchman on leave of absence from the club to tend to his ill wife, the team beat Ogden in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the re-named Great Falls Voyagers in the championship round. Despite their playoff shortcomings, a number of Owlz players captured individual honors, with designated hitter Roberto Lopez hitting .400 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs to win the league MVP award (he led the league in average, OBP, slugging, doubles, runs, RBI and total bases) and Jayson Miller going 8-2 with a 2.33 ERA to be named Pitcher of the Year. They were joined on the All-Star team by third baseman Luis Jimenez (who led the circuit with 15 home runs), outfielder Angel Castillo, and pitcher Will Smith.

The Owlz won a third league crown in 2009 and lost in the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons. Tom Kotchman's long tenure as the team's manager ended after the 2012 season, when the team missed the playoffs altogether. Dave Stapleton took over as manager in 2014 and got the team back into the playoffs that year. In his third season, in 2016, he led them to their fourth championship. Tom Nieto replaced him in 2017 and led the team to the league's best record in the regular season, but after a first-round exit in the playoffs, Stapleton was back at the helm in 2018.

The team announced that they would move to Windsor, CO after the 2020 season and to became the "Northern Colorado Owlz"[1], but that move never became effective, as they were replaced in the Pioneer League by the Boise Hawks, who had been bumped from the Northwest League.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach Coach
2005 38-38 5th Tom Kotchman League Champs Keith Johnson Zeke Zimmerman
2006 45-31 2nd Tom Kotchman Lost in 1st round Zeke Zimmerman
2007 37-38 4th (t) Tom Kotchman League Champs Francisco Matos Zeke Zimmerman
2008 52-23 1st Tom Kotchman Lost League Finals Brent Del Chiaro Zeke Zimmerman
2009 51-25 1st Tom Kotchman League Champs Mike Eylward Zeke Zimmerman
2010 39-36 4th Tom Kotchman Lost in 1st round Mike Eylward Zeke Zimmerman
2011 46-30 1st Tom Kotchman Lost in 1st round Tom Evans Zeke Zimmerman
2012 35-41 6th (t) Tom Kotchman Brian Betancourth & Tom Evans Zeke Zimmerman
2013 39-36 4th Bill Richardson Brian Betancourth & Carson Vitale Chris Gissell
2014 42-33 2nd Dave Stapleton Lost League Finals Ryan Barba & Buck Coats Hector Astacio & Chris Gissell
2015 41-35 3rd Dave Stapleton Lost in 1st Round Alexis Gomez & Buck Coats Hector Astacio & John Slusarz
2016 38-38 4th (t) Dave Stapleton League Champs Alexis Gomez & Travis Adair Hector Astacio & John Slusarz
2017 49-26 1st Tom Nieto Lost in 1st Round Manny Del Campo Mike Burns & Jonathan Van Eaton Matt Spring
2018 22-54 8th Dave Stapleton Manny Del Campo & Danny Ortega Michael Wuertz & Tyler Anderson
2019 30-46 8th Jack Santora Ryan Sebra & Casey Shaw Brian Garman & Tanner Reklaitis
2020 Season cancelled

External Link[edit]