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2016 MLB Draft Profile: Joshua Lowe, 3B/RHP, GA HS

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Arguably the best two-way player in the draft this year, Josh Lowe brings tons of potential to the mound and the batter's box

Information

Height: 6' 4"

Weight: 190 lbs.

B/T: L/R

Classification: HS Senior

College Commitment:  Florida State

Summary

In an article from Baseball America on May 25th, much was made of Lowe's familial ties to the sport.  His father, David, was drafted (but did not sign) in the fifth round by the Mariners in 1986, and his brother Nathaniel is a fellow top-draft-prospect who is a Junior at Mississippi State.  His mother, Wendy, ran track and played basketball in High School, so the sports pedigree is deep in the family.

Also pointed out in the article are Josh's gaudy numbers as a senior at Pope High in Marietta, Georgia.  Entering the State 6A Semifinals, Pope was hitting .407 with eleven home runs, thirty eight runs batted in, a ridiculous .605 on-base percentage, and had posted a 1.71 ERA with six saves to boot.

He's been clocked at 6.57 in the 60 yard dash, which is certainly moving very well, and features a fastball when on the mound which touches the mid-90s as a high school senior.  He's also touched 95 miles per hour on throws across the diamond from third base.  He is widely considered capable of playing just about any position on the field as a professional, but Lowe himself has a stated preference to be drafted as a hitter.

Ceiling

As a pitcher, Lowe currently sports a fastball from 90-94 miles per hour from a high three-quarters arm slot and appears capable of becoming a pitcher who consistently throws in the mid to upper-nineties while featuring a promising slider and a somewhat less promising change up.  He's primarily been his team's closer in High School, and reports vary on whether he'd figure to continue developing as an elite short inning reliever or perhaps stretch out some as a pro and try to become a starter.  His ceiling as a reliever would be in the highest leverage situations, while his ceiling as a starter might conceivably be as high as a number three pitcher if he proves to be able to develop his secondary offerings further and survive a third and fourth time through opposing teams' lineups.

All of that might be moot, however, as Lowe's passion - and arguably his greater attribute - is his bat.  He could easily profile as a middle of the order left handed power bat with plus defensive abilities.

Floor

As with basically all High School prospects, the floor is fairly low for Lowe.  Being as versatile as he appears to be helps temper that floor some, and gives him a chance to move from hitting prospect back to pitching prospect down the road if his preferred path doesn't work out.  Given his athleticism and the potential to play several positions on the field, it seems reasonable to project at least a utility role for him in the Major Leagues as a soft floor...provided he doesn't wash out entirely, as many prospects do.

Projected Draft Round

First round as a hitter, could be late first round or compensation round as a pitcher.

Will he sign?

There's no reason to think Lowe would be a huge signability risk.  If he is drafted in a range that allows a multi-million dollar signing bonus, indications are that he'd likely sign.

Bibliography

Pitching:

Slow-Mo (200 FPS) Pitching Mechanics:

Infield/Hitting:

John Sickels:

"As a pitcher Lowe features a fastball in the 90-94 MPH range, a promising slider, and premium athleticism and projectability. He would be a candidate for an early draft slot as a pitcher, perhaps as high as the late first round.

Lowe, however, prefers to play every day and he's done enough over the last year to convince most teams to let him do that. At his best, the ball jumps off his bat with strongpower to the right side, rated as plus/plus power by some sources, standing out as the main positive. He can be somewhat inconsistent as a hitter but once he becomes full-time in pro ball he should be able to smooth that out. Lowe runs well for a bigger guy and is a fine athlete; he obviously has a strong arm, too, and projects well at third base or any of the outfield spots."