After enduring his first full season plagued by injuries at high Class A Wilmington, Jed Lowrie is still proving people wrong.
“He can play shortstop for me,” a scout from a National League club said. “I said that last year too. He shows range to both sides, and arm strength and athleticism to throw people out from deep in the hole. I just had questions about the bat, but that’s not really an issue anymore.”
A supplemental first-rounder in 2005 out of Stanford, Lowrie struggled early offensively with the Blue Rocks, then sustained a severe ankle sprain. After missing a large chunk of the season, he battled back with the bat and wound up hitting .262/.352/.374 in 374 at-bats.
Lowrie again started slowly this season at Double-A Portland, hitting just .170 in April, but he bounced back to hit .333 in May and after batting .344 in June his overall numbers are an impressive .302/.417/.490.
The 23-year-old already has more home runs (4) and doubles (22) than he had all of last season, showing a much more consistent approach at the plate than he ever has.
“We’re impressed with his overall professionalism to his approach at the plate,” Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen said. “It’s tough to say exactly what role or affect the injuries had last year, but we never felt the fundamental swing was an issue.”
No matter how much Lowrie, like Dustin Pedroia before him proved they could play shortstop in the minors, the Stanford product is still viewed as a second baseman or perhaps a utility player down the road.
Still, the Sox believe in him at shortstop now.
“He’s made improvements at short and we feel he can stay there,” Hazen said. “He will need to be prepared for whatever role the the major leagues will ultimately require, but being a shortstop gives him the most versatility.”
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