- Full name Noah Ryan Lowry
- Born 10/10/1980 in Ventura, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: L
- School Pepperdine
- Debut 09/05/2003
Drafted in the 1st round (30th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 2001 (signed for $1,175,000).
View Draft ReportLowry got better every year in college--from being undrafted out of high school, to a 19th-round pick as a freshman at Ventura (Calif.) JC, to a possible second-round pick this year. He pitched well as half of a lefty-righty tandem with Dan Haren, the West Coast Conference player of the year. Lowry was pitcher of the year as he led the conference in wins, ERA and strikeouts entering NCAA tournament play. He developed three solid pitches, including a fastball that normally ranged from 86-90 mph but reached 92.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Lowry reached the major leagues in a hurry, needing just 221 minor league innings before reaching Pac Bell Park. Even shoulder soreness in 2002 and a lackluster performance in Double-A last year didn't slow him down much. He didn't miss a start after being pushed to Norwich but didn't show the stuff he flashed in high Class A, perhaps a lingering affect of his shoulder problems. Lowry has shown a low-90s fastball and plus curveball in the past, but neither was in evidence in the first half of 2003 as the California native struggled with the New England weather and a poor defense behind him. He survived with a good changeup and good command, which stems from his ability to repeat his delivery and arm slot. Lowry didn't use his breaking ball as much last year and he seemed to suffer for it as lefties batted .299 against him. As the year went on, Lowry improved dramatically. Counting his six near-perfect big league innings, he posted a 1.85 ERA in his last 39 innings at three levels. He figures to start 2004 in Triple-A and needs to carry his late improvement over a full season.
Drafted in the first round ahead of Jesse Foppert in 2001, Lowry endured a frustrating first full season. Nagging shoulder problems caused him to spend half the year on the disabled list, and only twice was he allowed to pitch more than five innings. Nothing more than tendinitis ever was diagnosed, and he was successful when he was able to take the mound. Opponents batted just .186 against him. Lowry throws a 91-92 mph fastball and has an excellent changeup that constantly befuddles hitters. Some people say his curveball is even better than his changeup. He also throws a cutter, and all of his pitches have plus potential. He competes well and throws strikes with a smooth delivery, though he sometimes overthrows. If Lowry can stay healthy, he'll sail through the minors. He'll pitch in Double-A in 2003.
Of the three pitchers the Giants took in the first two rounds of the 2001 draft, Lowry has the most experience and polish, even if he ranks behind Jesse Foppert and Brad Hennessey on this list. A first-team All-American at Pepperdine last spring, Lowry and righthander Dan Haren (a Cardinals second-round pick) gave the Waves one of college baseball's top pitching duos. The 2001 West Coast Conference pitcher of the year, Lowry emerged after a bad back and broken left hand sidelined him for most of his senior year in high school, diverting him for a year to Ventura (Calif.) Junior College and another year in the Waves bullpen. His 142 strikeouts last spring were the second-most in school history, and were the result of an 87-91 mph fastball with good life, a consistent overhand curve and a plus changeup. San Francisco still sees some projection left in his fastball. Lowry throws all three pitches for strikes and holds runners well. He looks like a future innings-eater, though the Giants took it easy with him last year after he pitched 121 innings at Pepperdine. He should join Hennessey in the Hagerstown rotation in 2002.
Minor League Top Prospects
Lowry won't win any rookie-of-the-year awards, but there may not have been a more valuable first-year player in the big leagues. After two brief callups earlier in the season, the Giants pressed him into their rotation in August and he responded with a three-hit shutout of the Reds. Lowry won all six of his decisions and had seven quality starts in 11 tries, including his final four outings. Like Madritsch, Lowry pitches off of his changeup, which has improved from below average to plus over the last year. He locates his high-80s fastball down and away, so he rarely gives up homers. Neither his curveball nor cutter is average, but he uses them as show-me pitches and throws them for strikes.