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2016 MLB Draft: Rays select 3B Josh Lowe in first round

The Rays go back to the high school position-player ranks for another 13th overall pick

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 13 pick in the draft, the Rays selected third baseman Josh Lowe from Pope High School in Georgia. He is committed to Florida State.

Lowe was featured in our draft preview:

Several outlets have the Rays taking Lowe with their first selection. A high school standout from Georgia, Lowe has steadily risen up draft boards over the past year. Teams place a premium on left-handed hitting third basemen, and Lowe is athletic enough to play in the outfield as well.

This time last year, it looked like Lowe would be drafted as a pitcher. He's been clocked in the mid-90s from the rubber, and his 6-foot-4 frame suggests he could transition to the mound if his bat doesn't develop. But Lowe wants to be a position player, and he's going to be given that opportunity.

Despite his size, he moves well, and could develop into a plus defender. Scouts are also excited about his power potential. While his approach need some refining, he's already shown plus raw power that could develop into plus-plus game power as he fills out. The Rays like athletes, and they undoubtedly love being able to hedge their bets with Josh Lowe the pitcher if Josh Lowe the hitter doesn't pan out. Lowe is a good bet to become a Ray.

Tools (potential grades, not present) per

Hit: 50
Power: 50
Speed: 60
Field: 55

Ranks on draft boards:

Baseball America: 17 17
Baseball Prospectus: 7
ESPN: 26

Baseball America's scouting report:

(...) He has a lean, 6-foot-4 frame with wide, sloped shoulders. Lowe dropped jaws when he displayed his plus-plus raw power during batting practice at the East Coast Pro showcase in August, and hit well in games on the showcase circuit. He does have some swing-and-miss to his game, and has been hot and cold at times this spring, leading different teams to evaluate him differently based on when they’ve seen him. Lowe is a plus runner and he has plus arm strength at third base, though his defense will need refinement going forward. (...)

ESPN scouting report ($) video

Baseball America video

Perfect Game video

Baseball Prospectus' Christopher Crawford reacts:

13. Tampa Bay Rays: Josh Lowe, 3B, Pope HS (Ga.)

Lowe was one of the few true two-way players in this class coming into the year, but he's going to start as a hitter in the Rays system, as he should. He's an excellent athlete, and there's plus power projection in his switch-hitting bat. He should be a quality third baseman, but I would give him a chance to play center because of his speed. He's far from a quick advance, but he could be a top-of-the-order hitter with pop if everything works out.

Baseball America story on Lowe and his baseball family