Jose Lozada (minors01)

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José Antonio Lozada

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Biographical Information[edit]

Versatile infielder José Lozada had a ten-year career in the minor leagues, including three years in AAA, but never played in the majors. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he was a rare ballplayer from the island to attend a U.S-based college, going to Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. He was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 17th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

He began his professional career in 2008 with the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League and also played for the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League that season, combining to hit .218 in 69 games. he was a full-time shortstop that first season and it would continue to be his primary position over the next three seasons, although he also saw action at all three other infield positions and in the outfield. He would only become a true utility player starting in 2012. In 2009, he hit .247 in 49 games for Hagerstown and in 2010 was at .256 in 104 games for the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League as he gradually improved each season. In 2011, he returned to Potomac and hit for exactly the same average - .256 - in 99 games, also matching the previous year's output in both homers (6) and RBIs (34).

Starting in 2012, he was a utility player, and while he was not considered a prospect, his versatility was a major asset for the Nationals' organization as his ability to play many positions had significant value given the limits on the size of minor league rosters. He was thus promoted to the Harrisburg Senators of the AA Eastern League that year, where he hit .241 in 99 games. He first played for the Leones de Ponce in the Puerto Rican League after that season, and would soon become a fixture in the circuit. In 2013, he was again with Harrisburg but fell to .204 in 81 games. In 2014, he got his first taste of AAA ball as he played 16 games for Harrisburg and another 46 for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. He hit a combined .279/.332/.321 in 61 games and even played 6 games at catcher; as he had already been used as an emergency pitcher a few times each season starting in 2011, it meant that he had appeared at every position on the field in a minor league game. Following the season, he played for the Senadores de San Juan in Puerto Rico and on December 30th, his team allowed him to put his versatility on display when he played all nine positions in the same game. Oddly, that same day, major league veteran Tomás Pérez pulled off the same feat in the Venezuelan League as an occasion to mark his brilliant 24-season career in professional baseball.

Lozado settled into the role of utility player in the upper minors after that season, again splitting 2015 between Harrisburg and Syracuse, and then spending all of 2016 with Syracuse. He hit .314 in 42 games the first year and .157 in 53 games the second, both times in limited at-bats. He also played in the 2016 Caribbean Series with the Cangrejeros de Santurce. He completed his professional career with one season in the independent leagues in 2017, when he played 102 games for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League and hit a solid .298/.363/.383 once again appearing all over the diamond. He was still a productive player when he called it a career after the season.

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