Each year there are intriguing MLB First-Year Player Draft prospects and this year is no different. One of the more fascinating prospects is prep third baseman and pitcher Josh Lowe.
A Georgia native, Lowe is the top two-way player in the 2016 draft and is a viable candidate to be selected in the early part of the first round as a pitcher or position player.
Ranked by MLB.com as the 17th best draft prospect, Lowe considers himself a third baseman and prefers to play in the field rather than standing on the pitching rubber.
“You can make more of an impact playing third base instead of being a pitcher,” Lowe said. “Everyday you can step in the box and can change the game with one swing or make plays defensively. From an impact standpoint, playing third base is a lot more fun.”
Lowe has a quick left-handed swing that produces respectable power. He also is an above average defender, due to his excellent speed and arm strength.
When Lowe isn’t at the hot corner, he is on the mound as his high school team’s closer.
It is easy to see why scouts imagine Lowe being a pitcher at the next level with his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. He also has a loose arm and fairly clean delivery.
A right-handed pitcher, Lowe possesses an above average fastball that reaches the mid-90s, while also having a respectable slider and changeup.
Despite Lowe’s potential on the mound, he enjoys being a position player.
“I just like being on the field everyday,” Lowe said. “It comes more naturally. I’ve been there a lot – pretty much my whole baseball career.”
While scouts are torn on whether or not Lowe is a better prospect as a position player or pitcher, he has a shot at being selected highly in the first round of June’s draft.
“It hasn’t really changed the way I play or what I do,” Lowe said of the draft attention. “I know I’m surrounded by some great teammates and a coaching staff and also a family at home that no matter what happens I will have support from them. It’s not really anything major.”
Lowe is enjoying the draft process and the attention scouts and major league teams are giving him. He doesn’t’ get nervous from the attention and would be excited if an opportunity to play professionally presented itself this June, he said.
If the opportunity to play professionally doesn’t work out this year, Lowe will attend Florida State to continue his education and baseball career in the fall.
Lowe committed to FSU in the summer leading up to his junior year, and although he was also considering Florida, it was an easy decision for him to become a Seminole, he said.
“It has also been my dream school since I was younger,” Lowe said. “As soon as I got the offer from them, it was a really good offer, I made the decision.”
Florida State recruited Lowe as a position player and pitcher. He’ll likely play in the infield at shortstop or third base, while also potentially being a starter or closer, he said.
Throughout Lowe’s baseball career he has relied on his dad and brother for advice. His brother, Nathaniel, is a junior first baseman at Mississippi State, after turning down an offer to be drafted in the 10th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
A junior college All-America last year, Nathaniel has helped Josh throughout the draft process, while also giving him baseball advice.
“We are always pushing each other to get better,” Josh said. “When we were younger, he was always the better hitter. I always took some pointers from him and used them as much as I could.”
Josh and Nathaniel are both expected to be selected at some point in June’s draft, but before that happens, Josh has a few goals he’d like to accomplish.
“My brother has a couple of records that he set at Pope High School,” Josh said. “I’m trying to break a few of those. He’s got career home runs. Also, I want to win a state championship.”
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