Scout's View: Jed Lowrie
Jed Lowrie didn't get much of a taste of what playing shortstop was like during college, but he certainly has gotten his feet wet in just over 60 games as a pro.
The Red Sox' supplemental first-round pick last year out of Stanford spent much of his three years with the Cardinal at second base. All that time on the opposite side of the infield led to questions among scouts about Lowrie's range, footwork and lateral movement.
But the 22-year-old is quickly erasing those doubts this season at high Class A Wilmington.
"He's been going in the hole and throwing out guys like (Myrtle Beach outfielder) Brandon Jones," Blue Rocks manager Chad Epperson said. "I know it's early and I'm probably more than a little bit biased, but to me, he's one of the most exciting players in this league."
The Red Sox drafted Pacific-10 Conference middle infielders in 2004 and 2005, nabbing Arizona State product Dustin Pedroia, who played shortstop in college, in the second round in '04 and getting Lowrie a year later. Neither is the prototypical rangy shortstop, and one area scout who has seen both infielders says Lowrie is more likely to stick there for the long term.
"Lowrie definitely profiles at the position," the scout said. "He's one of those guys that moves up a level and makes the big wigs go, 'God, this guy just does everything so easy--he just does it and does it.'
"He's kind of like David Eckstein with a lot better tools. You sit there and say to yourself, 'That guy's an everyday shortstop.' He makes the plays--nothing necessarily real flashy, but he's going to get it done. He's made some flashy plays so far this year, but I think he was kind of playing out of his butt a little bit. I know going to the hole to get balls has been something where people have killed him in the past, but I saw him get three or four average runners to above in the first two series. He can go get it.
"I think he's got a nice bat too. He's very well-schooled in his approach--very patient and not afraid to shorten up and take balls the other way when he's in that situation. But he's going to be an everyday shortstop maybe in the mold of a Jeff Blauser or a Kevin Elster.
"This kid's a lot better player than Pedroia. There's a lot of hype, a lot of 'Moneyball' in (Pedroia). This kid's got a chance to play and stay at shortstop. To me, that has a lot more value than the guy that's going to be an offensive second baseman. Lowrie is a much better athlete who can play the position and has some upside staying at shortstop. I'll take the guy who's athletic enough to figure things out."