After selecting high school 3B Josh Lowe with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays have selected his older brother -- 1B Nathaniel Lowe, a junior at Mississippi State -- with their 13th round selection.
Known for more power potential than his younger brother (and rightfully so as a first baseman), Nathaniel leads his college team with 86 hits (.358 AVG) and 20 doubles, as well as a team best 49 RBI as the Bulldogs enter the super regional phase of the NCAA tournament as the SEC Champions.
The bloodline for MLB talent comes from their father, that's to be sure, a former draft selection by the Seattle Mariners who instead pursued a career in the Navy, graduating from TOPGUN and serving for 20 years.
Rumor has it that Nathaniel Lowe was previously offered a 10th round selection in 2015, but turned down the team to develop his skills in the SEC. At the time, he had been named a NJCAA First Team All-Amaerican and the Florida JUCO player of the year, playing for St. Johns River Community College. That season he boasted the second most walks among all JUCO players (54) and hit 17 HR.
In the 2016 season, the elder Lowe has more walks (31 - team best) than strikeouts (30) and a near perfect fielding percentage. He's hit only five homeruns. That doesn't mean, however, that power potential does not exist. His swing has nice load from the left side, not unlike his brother's.
On a personal note, I will have an unabashed fondness for both Nathaniel and Josh Lowe moving forward. Their father David, a fellow Space Coast product, graduated from my alma mater, and seems to have held a similar aspiration to my own as a child:
"My goal in life was to become an astronaut," said David, who grew up about 22 miles from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. "And the quickest way to become an astronaut was to be a Navy fighter pilot. It's produced more than half of our total astronauts in the astronaut program. Did I want to go off and play professional baseball? No, nuh-uh. I wanted to fly spaceships, I wanted to go to space." [mlb.com]
As an accountant, I never followed that dream into the Navy, or into the space industry, although I suppose there is still time. Nevertheless, I would be glad to root for his sons as they suit up for the Tampa Bay Rays system.
Read more about the Lowe family here.