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Nate Lowe Realizes His Big League Dream

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Coming out of Pope High in Marietta, Ga., Nate Lowe wasn’t even thinking much about the possibility of playing pro ball.

Bouncing from Mercer to St. Johns River (Fla.) JC and then to Mississippi State, he still wasn’t sure if he could—or would—get the chance.

But the Rays saw something besides family bloodlines. After drafting Josh Lowe with their first-round pick in 2016, they used their 13th-round pick on older brother Nate

That turned out to be a wise investment of $100,000.

Nate Lowe moved slowly at first, and still doubted if he really had a future in the game.
 But his development accelerated in 2018, when he advanced through three levels and hit .330 with 27 home runs and 102 RBIs.

And on April 29, Lowe's big league dream became a reality. He made his major league debut in Kansas City.

"I feel like I showed a decent hit tool, but not really a power tool,’’ said Lowe, a 23-year-old lefthanded hitter who clearly grew into power in 2018.

He credits Rays minor league managers Brady Williams and Jared Sandberg (who is now with the Mariners) with helping him improve defensively last year, from big league spring training through his time at Triple-A Durham.

When a player comes as far as Lowe has, he has many people who helped along the way.

"It’s a big day for the Rays organization, not just for Nate,’’ Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of people played a role in that, whether it’s scouts, player development, front office, all of those things. A lot of high-fiving.’’

Standing in the Kauffman Stadium clubhouse, Lowe knew how much of an accomplishment it was.

"It’s pretty awesome,’’ he said. "To know that all the work that you put in, not only in the season but in the offseason, and for as long as I’ve been playing, really to pay off by getting here. It’s everything you can think that it is.”

COOL RAYS

— Righthander Andrew Moore was designated for assignment after a rough start at Triple-A Durham to make room on the 40-man roster for Lowe. Moore, acquired from the Mariners in the Alex Colome-Denard Span deal, was 0-2, 12.98 at Durham, allowing 10 walks and 29 hits (including nine homers) in 17.1 innings.

— Two-way prospect Brendan McKay could pitch himself into an interesting predicament if he continues dominating at Double-A Montgomery on the mound but struggling at the plate. Through April, he was 0-0, 2.41 ERA in four starts with 33 strikeouts and four walks, but he hit just .200 with a .497 OPS.

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