For the first time in 72 years, a former Maryland baseball position player was selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe, who has hit .276 with 16 home runs during his rookie season, will join the American League squad as a replacement.
The last Maryland position player to make the Midsummer Classic was Charlie Keller, a five-time All-Star outfielder who last made it with the New York Yankees in 1947. Since then, the Terps have had two pitcher representatives: left-hander Brett Cecil in 2013 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and left-hander Eric Milton in 2001 with the Minnesota Twins.
Lowe was drafted in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Rays and made his debut on Aug. 5, 2018, featuring in 43 games last season and hitting .233. The Newport News, Virginia, native’s rookie status is intact throughout the 2019 campaign, and he leads the Rays in home runs and RBI (49).
The 24-year-old’s 16 longballs match Evan Longoria’s mark set in 2008 as the most home runs from a Tampa Bay rookie before the All-Star Break, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Lowe first flashed that power as a member of the Terps, helping guide Maryland to back-to-back NCAA Super Regional appearances in 2014 and 2015. The second baseman batted .348 during his redshirt freshman year. While Lowe’s average dropped to .331 in his sophomore campaign, he added nine homers and 18 doubles in 66 games.
Lowe entered the All-Star game as an injury replacement, but it remains to be seen if he will be healthy enough to play in the July 9 game in Cleveland. Lowe exited Tuesday’s contest against the Baltimore Orioles after fouling a ball off his right leg.
His X-rays were negative and he was deemed day-to-day with a bruise, the Tampa Bay Times reported.