It’s draft season! Seriously, the draft is in 24 days. The Dodgers have three of the first 36 picks, so there’s a chance to land some premium talent early on.
This is the first in my series of 2016 MLB Draft profiles. First up is a powerful prep corner infielder in Josh Lowe.
6’4, 190 pounds
Position: Third base, outfield, pitcher
DOB: Feb. 2, 1998
Commitment: Florida State
Baseball America: 11
Minor League Ball: 13
Scouting Baseball: 22
Slot recommended bonus (No. 20): $2,316,300
Slot recommended bonus (No. 32): $1,940,700
Slot recommended bonus (No. 36): $1,791,000
Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.
Lowe is a kid with a ton of projectablity in a frame that is not fully filled out yet. He profiles best as a power-hitting third baseman, but some teams might like him better on the mound. The Dodgers have been no stranger to two-way prospects like this in the past (James Loney, Ethan Martin, Aaron Miller, Blake Smith, Alex Verdugo), but it remains to be seen what the new regime might do in a situation like this.
At the hot corner, Lowe needs some work — so much so that a move to the outfield could be in order. His first step and reaction time aren’t optimal for third base, but he has plenty of arm strength for the position. If he remains at third base, a fringy defensive upside is about the best a team could hope for. But if he hits the way he’s projected to, that would work out just fine. In the outfield, he could use his plus-speed (better underway than initially) to at least be tried in center field. He probably ends up in right field in the long run, though.
Lowe has plus-plus raw power, most of which should translate to game action. His bat explodes through the hitting zone to produce the massive power potential. He’s fairly quiet at the plate and has a long stride toward the pitcher (not unlike Corey Seager). His bat speed is elite and it doesn’t look like he expends much energy doing so. He produces such easy power with a left swing and natural loft. He also has shown an ability to cut down his sometimes long swing and hit the ball the opposite way.
He has surprisingly good speed for a kid his size. He has been clocked at 6.57 seconds in the 60-yard days (an average MLB runner checks in at 6.7-6.9 seconds). That speed could lead to double-digit stolen bases and to be more than just a right fielder.
On the mound, Lowe has been clocked as high as 94 MPH on his fastball. He follows up his 4-seamer with a slider and developing changeup — neither of which are where they need to be for him to have success on the mound. He has a three-quarters arm slot and gets good downward plane on his pitches thanks to a big frame and clean delivery. His pitching projection is considerably behind his hitting projection, and it’d be surprised if a team popped him in the first round as a pitching prospect.
Videos courtesy of Baseball America, Prospect Pipeline (Steve Fiorindo) and Matt Czechanski
There’s a chance he doesn’t even make it to pick No. 20 (and an even greater chance the Dodgers don’t pop him), but there are always guys (mostly prep players) who fall on draft day for one reason or another.
It’d be somewhat surprising to see the Dodgers go for a high-upside prep player like Lowe with their first pick (based on Billy Gasparino‘s track record), but I’d be all for it. He likely won’t make it much further than pick 20, if he even makes it that far.