When the Texas Rangers traded for Nate Lowe this past offseason it was planned that he would give Ronald Guzman competition for the first base job. And as we all know by now, Guzman had an MVP season in the Dominican winter league and his new approach at the plate kept him hot during spring training. However, Lowe also hit the ball well and it forced the team to keep both players on the roster.
Lowe has started the season hot hitting .320 with 14 RBI (a franchise record to start a season). Guzman, however, is off to a cold start hitting .111 with his only hit being a home run. Now we are just six games into the season and Guzman has only had nine plate appearances so you have to keep in mind that it is a very small sample size. The same goes for Lowe and his stats.
So is Nate Lowe the real deal? I believe he is. At one time he was the Tampa Bay Rays number eight prospect and he graded out near or at the top of all scouting categories. I found two strike zone heat maps for Lowe. The first is for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The next one is this season.
What this shows is that he’s utilizing more of the plate, This should help cut down on his strikeouts. He has 87 for his career against only 23 walks. This also changes how pitchers approach him.
So why was Texas able to get Lowe in the first place? The Rays did not think that Lowe was ready for the big leagues so after the 2019 season they signed Japanese free agent Yoshi Tsutsugo to a two-year deal/ He was the main first baseman last season but only slashed .197/.314/.395 in 1 games last season. This season he is off to a .188/.211/.118 start. The Rays may end up kicking themselves for not having faith in Lowe. And I am okay with that.
Earlier in the year I had picked Nick Solak to make this year’s all-star team as a reserve. Now I’m thinking Nate Lowe.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!