Josh Lowe was laughing after reaching first base. His broken-bat single off Baltimore's Tyler Wells last Friday evening barely made it to the outfield.

Rays’ Josh Lowe Heating Up At the Plate

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Josh Lowe was laughing after reaching first base. His broken-bat single off Baltimore’s Tyler Wells last Friday evening barely made it to the outfield.

It was nice to have some good luck for a change.

“There have been plenty of line drives that he has barreled up that he doesn’t have anything to show for,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash, following the game. “So, I don’t know if it ever evens out, but it was good to see him get that one.”

Lowe has hit a number of liners that were caught so, yeah, it was refreshing to pick up a base hit despite the broken lumber.

The rookie outfielder, who is in his second stint with the Rays after being recalled from Triple-A Durham on June 20, headed into the all-star break feeling good about his recent production. In his last 11 starts dating to July 6 at Boston, Lowe is hitting .282 (11-for-39) with an .860 OPS. He has a homer, six doubles, six RBI, scored nine runs and has drawn four walks in that stretch.

Josh Lowe was laughing after reaching first base. His broken-bat single off Baltimore's Tyler Wells last Friday evening barely made it to the outfield.
Josh Lowe, Credit: Tampa Bay Rays

Lowe’s recent run, which has lifted his average to .199, is a bit of a breakthrough in what has otherwise been a tough rookie season that has seen him fan 55 times in 151 at-bats. His work in the batting cage coupled with regular at-bats has helped greatly in getting into a groove.

“For me, it has been trusting the things that I have been working on in the cage with the coaches, carrying that into the box and just being more comfortable,” said the 24-year-old, who has started at all three outfield positions, mostly in right. “It’s swinging at good pitches, getting into a good count and getting into a good feel with my body. Just making sure I am preparing the right way.”

It can be tough for a young player to hold his head high when things are not going so well, when the line drives are nothing more than outs in the box score. Lowe, however, has kept everything in perspective.

“Really, it is understanding that you can only control what you can control,” he said. “When I take a swing and hit the ball, the only thing I control from there is how hard I run, not where the ball goes. So, I go up there and just try to put the barrel on the ball each and every time and whatever happens, happens.”

What is happening is that Lowe is making key contributions at a time when the Rays, who took six of seven from the Red Sox and Orioles at Tropicana Filed leading into the break, sit atop the American League wild card race.

“I am really encouraged with Josh,” said Cash. “He is starting to piece together some big at-bats, get some results.”

They are much-needed results as the team continues to battle through one injury after another, the latest being Harold Ramirez’s fractured thumb sustained when he was hit by a pitch from Baltimore’s Jordan Lyles last Sunday. Ramirez was hitting .400 for the month.

“With all the moves we have had to make and all the adversity we have had to overcome with the injuries and whatnot, we find ourselves very much in the hunt for the playoffs,” said Lowe. “It says a lot about this team, a lot about the depth on this team and a lot about the guys in this clubhouse and how we can overcome a lot of things.”

Lowe, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, made the opening day roster after Austin Meadows was traded to Detroit for Isaac Paredes, who has had quite an impact after being summoned from Durham in May.

When he made his MLB debut last September at Boston, Lowe became the second member of his family to play for the Rays. His older brother, Nate, played in 71 games (.230, 11 HR) over the course of the 2019 and 2020 seasons before being dealt to the Rangers for three minor leaguers.

The brothers followed in their father’s footsteps with respect to baseball. David Lowe was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and pitcher at the United States Naval Academy where he compiled a career mark of 19-17 with a 3.42 ERA. He had a 32-inning scoreless streak as a sophomore.

The senior Lowe also lettered four years as a linebacker and defensive end for the Midshipmen. He recorded at least 60 tackles in each of his final three seasons and had nine tackles for loss over his final two seasons.

“(My father playing football) rubbed off on me a lot,” said Lowe, a college football fan who follows Florida State, Georgia and Navy. “I grew up thinking I was always going to play football. Then I started to realize in high school, when I wasn’t as big as some of the other kids were, it really wasn’t the best sport for me.”

Lowe, a receiver and quarterback, played through his junior year in high school. After that it was all baseball, a decision that led to his being selected 13th overall by the Rays in 2013 out of Pope High School in Marietta, Ga.

“As many of the kids in high school were growing (wider), I just kept getting taller and skinnier,” he said. “It was a time I needed to make a choice, and I went with baseball.”

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