Nathaniel Lowe

From BR Bullpen

David Nathaniel Lowe
(Nate)

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Nathaniel Lowe was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 13th round of the 2016 amateur draft, out of Mississippi State University. He began his pro career that season with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League, hitting .300/.382/.437 in 67 games. In 2017, he split his time almost equally between the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League and the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League. In 115 games, he hit .274/.373/.388 with 7 homers and 59 RBIs.

In 2018, Nate began the year back at Charlotte, where he hit .356 in 51 games to earn a promotion to AA and the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League. His scorching bat followed him, and as a result he was named to the United States team for the 2018 Futures Game played on July 15th at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Batting clean-up and starting at first base, he drove in the game's first run with a two-out single off Jesus Luzardo that drove in Brendan Rodgers from second base in the 1st inning. However, he was thrown out at second by a great peg from CF Luis Alexander Basabe. He went hitless in his other at-bat before giving way to Peter Alonso. In 130 games between three different teams that season, culminating with the AAA Durham Bulls, he hit .330/.416/.568 with 32 doubles, 27 homers and 102 RBIs, earning him the title of Rays Minor League Player of the Year.

Heading into 2019, the Rays traded incumbent first baseman Jake Bauers to the Texas Rangers, opening up a spot in the line-up for Nate. He started the year in AAA, hitting .300 in 21 games for Durham, before being called up on April 29th. That day, he was inserted in to starting line-up at DH against the Kansas City Royals, going 1 for 4 with a run and a walk. In 50 games, he hit .263 with 7 homers and 19 RBIs. He returned to Tampa in 2020 and was part of manager Kevin Cash's complex system of player rotation, seeing mostly time at first base where Ji-Man Choi was another lefty batter and Mike Brosseau started against many lefthanders, but also playing a couple of times at third base. In 21 games, he hit .224, with 4 homers and 11 RBIs, and while this looked to be a big fall from his rookie numbers, in fact both years were an equivalent 107 OPS+. He was on the Rays' postseason roster for the Wild Card Series against the Toronto Blue Jays and started Game 1 at first base, batting clean-up against righty Matt Shoemaker. He went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts, then sat down Game 2 against a lefthanded pitcher in Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Rays swept both games, but he was not on the roster for the next three rounds, as the Rays decided to add another pitcher instead, with Choi and Brosseau sharing playing time at first base.

On December 10, 2020, he was the centerpiece of a six-player trade with the Texas Rangers, heading there with minor leaguer Jake Guenther and a player to be named later (Carl Chester) in return for three prospects: IF Osleivis Basabe, C/OF Heriberto Hernandez and OF Alexander Ovalles. He was expected to compete with incumbent Ronald Guzman for the Rangers' starting first base job in 2021. He got off to a great start with his new team as over his first five games, he collected 14 RBIs. This included a game on April 6th when he hit a pair of two-run homers off Tanner Roark in a 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He was only the third player in major league history to collect that many RBIs in the first five games of a season. On May 17th, he drew a walk from the New York Yankees' Gerrit Cole in the 5th inning, ending his record streak of 61 strikeouts without issuing a walk.

His younger brother Josh Lowe was a first-round selection by the Rays in the same 2016 draft in which Nate was drafted. The two were teammates with Charlotte at the start of the 2018 season. He was a teammate of Brandon Lowe with the Rays in his first two seasons, although the two are not related: Brandon pronounces his last name to rhyme with "now", while Nate and Josh's rhymes with "show". He was usually known as "Nate Lowe" during his first two seasons, but asked to be called by his full first name, Nathaniel, in 2021.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gerard Gilberto: "Lowe brothers making waves in Charlotte: Rays prospects' competitive boyhood grows to unbreakable bond", MiLB.com, May 30, 2018. [1]

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