Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays draft high school third baseman Josh Lowe

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — With the 13th overall pick in Thursday's baseball draft, the Rays selected a high school third baseman who models his game off a player who is awfully familiar to the fan base: Evan Longoria.

"He's one of the best third basemen in the league, and he is definitely swinging the hot bat right now," Josh Lowe said.

Lowe, 18, was the Gatorade Georgia player of the year at Pope High in Marietta. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound left-handed hitter batted .391 this spring with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs. He also saved six games with 33 strikeouts in 22 innings while helping Pope to the state Class 6A final.

MLB.com rated Lowe the 17th best prospect in the draft and called him "the most talented two-way player" in the draft.

Rob Metzler, the Rays scouting director, said Lowe has "really good physical attributes. He's a big, strong athlete. Good foot speed and power and we think he has good ingredients to progress through our system. A long road, but we think he's a good bet to make that journey."

Metzler said Lowe will enter the organization as a third baseman.

That's fine with Lowe.

"I'm excited," he said. "If the organization thinks I can help them best as a third baseman and help them win, that's what I'm looking forward to do. And I know I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to be the best third baseman in the entire organization and the league eventually, and if that's where they think I can help them win and bring championships to them, then I'll do that. But if they need me to go to another position, I'll be just as happy to do that as well."

When asked if he would like to try pitching, Lowe said, "I like hitting more than pitching."

The Rays selected University of Nebraska junior centerfielder Ryan Boldt with the 53rd pick.

The left-handed hitting Boldt batted .344 this season.

And the Rays, with the 77th and final pick of Day 1 of the draft (that ended 12:05 a.m.), selected LSU outfielder Jake Fraley.

The draft continues today with rounds three through 10.

This is the second consecutive year the Rays had the 13th overall pick. Last year they selected high school outfielder Garrett Whitley, who signed for $2,959,600.

Metzler said he's "very hopeful" Lowe will sign quickly. Lowe said, "I'm looking forward to play. I'm excited and ready to get this thing on the road and get this thing going."

Lowe's older brother Nathaniel is a junior at Mississippi State and also a first base prospect in this year's draft. Nathaniel was the Florida JUCO player of the year at St. John's River State College.

Lowe's father, Dave, was a fifth round draft pick by the Mariners in 1986. He declined the Mariners offer to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played football and baseball. He became a career pilot for the Navy.

"He comes from good athletic roots," Metzler said.

Lowe visited Tropicana Field on Tuesday and was impressed with the facility, especially the roof that kept the field dry during the rainy day. He hit six home runs during his round of batting practice, driving five off the batter's eye in centerfield and reaching the walkway beyond the rightfield seats with another.

"Definitely very cool stadium," Lowe said. "The turf is really fun to get on and run on. I'm not expecting any bad hops. I think the workout went really well. I think that contributed to why I got picked by them."

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17