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Rays sign top two draft picks for less than slot value

Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay’s first-round draft pick, signs Friday.

Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay’s first-round draft pick, signs Friday.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays signed their top two draft picks Friday, both for below slot value.

The team would not comment on the bonus given to the two picks.

First-round pick 3B Josh Lowe from Pope (Ga.) High was taken 13th overall, which was slotted at $3,098,900. Second-round pick OF Ryan Boldt (University of Nebraska) reportedly signed for $1 million, which came in under the $1,195,500 slot for his spot, 53rd overall.

The Rays have signed 20 of their 41 picks, including Lowe's older brother Nathaniel, a first baseman at Mississippi State.

Josh Lowe is scheduled to report Monday to the Gulf Coast League Rays in Port Charlotte. The older Lowe is headed to short-season Class A Hudson Valley, along with Boldt.

"I think the Rays organization is blessed to have two Lowe brothers," Josh said. "I know we're going to give it everything that we have every single day. We're going to play our guts out there on the field."

Longo returns to lineup: 3B Evan Longoria was back at his position, one day after missing a game because of tightness in his left forearm.

Longoria missed his first game because of the injury June 7 at Arizona. He left Tuesday's game against Seattle in the middle of the 13th inning when the tightness returned after he checked his swing in the 11th. He said he doesn't expect the condition to worsen.

"I went for a week and a half, two weeks without any aggravation, and it felt better, so I think it's something that hopefully we can get past and I won't need extended rest," he said.

Still, Longoria expects it to linger.

"I feel it's not 100 percent better, but I feel like if I'm out there I have a chance to impact the game," he said. "I don't really feel like it's taking that much away. … I'm just happy to be back in the lineup."

Geltz returns: RHP Steve Geltz returned feeling more confident than he did during his first stint with the club, which ended May 23 when he was optioned to Triple-A Durham. He pitched a perfect ninth inning Friday.

Geltz called the time in Durham humbling, but after compiling a 6.06 ERA and allowing seven home runs in 17 games, he knew it was deserved.

"It's more or less just going out and pitching, just going out and having good outings and being able to commit to something, believe in it and execute it," he said. "It rebuilds that foundation of what I was used to. Somewhere along the road I got away from that. Now I'm back."

Geltz replaced RHP Ryan Garton, who was optioned to Durham.

The O-Rays: As part of Friday's Pride Night tribute to the victims in the Orlando shooting, the Rays wore the caps worn by their former Double-A affiliate Orlando Rays. The O-Rays played from 1999 to 2003.

Three members of the current roster played for or coached the O-Rays: first-base coach Rocco Baldelli, third-base coach Charlie Montoyo and bullpen catcher Scott Cursi.

Also signing: The team has also signed the following draft picks: RHP Mikey York (fifth round), RHP J.D. Busfield (seventh), RHP Peter Bayer (ninth), LHP Dalton Moats (15th), 3B James Haley (19th), OF Isaac Benard (23rd), 2B Robbie Tenerowicz (27th), 2B Trek Stemp (29th), C Joey Roach (31st), 1B Bobby Melley (34th), LHP Alex Estrella (35th), RHP Anthony Parente (36th) and RHP Brian McAfee (38th).

Rays sign top two draft picks for less than slot value 06/17/16 [Last modified: Saturday, June 18, 2016 12:15am]
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