The Tampa Bay Rays recalled second baseman Brandon Lowe from the minors on Saturday, making him the third former Maryland player in MLB this year.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 4, 2018
During his two seasons in College Park, Lowe was a force at the plate, hitting .338 with a .448 on-base percentage and .509 slugging percentage. His performance at the keystone helped the Terps make a run to the NCAA Super Regionals in 2014 and 2015 — and convinced the Rays to draft him in the third round the latter year.
Lowe’s batting line was a mediocre .248/.357/.343 in 2016, his first professional season. But he hit his stride in 2017, slashing .298/.375/.493 across two minor-league levels. This year, he picked up right where he left off at Double-A Montgomery (.291/.400/.508), then managed to get even better at Triple-A Durham (.304/.380/.613).
Prior to 2018, Lowe was exclusively an infielder. That’s changed this season, as he’s started 39 games in left field and 55 at second across Double- and Triple-A. The Rays are big on positional flexibility — remember when they put a pitcher at third base? — so being able to play the infield and the outfield will help Lowe’s cause if he struggles at the plate.
Left-handers Brett Cecil and Adam Kolarek are the only other Terps who have played in the majors this year, and they haven’t done a whole lot — Cecil is sitting on a 5.70 ERA, and Kolarek has made just eight appearances. But with the Rays pretty far from contention, Lowe should get plenty of chances to prove himself, even if he doesn’t stick right away.