The Tampa Bay Rays might have been divided on whether to augment their pitching or their hitting in the Major League Draft.
As it turned out, they did both.
The Rays drafted Josh Lowe, who was considered one of the best two-way players in the draft, with their 13th overall pick. Lowe, from Marietta, Ga., plays third base and pitches. The Rays will look at him, at least initially, as an infielder.
“I am excited if the organization thinks I can help them best as a third baseman and help them win,” Lowe said. “I know I will work as hard as I possibly can to be the best third baseman in the entire organization and the league, eventually. If that is where they think I can help them win and bring championships to them, then I will do that.”
The Rays say that Lowe might have gone as high as No. 5 in the draft.
“We really like his athleticism,” president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. “We really like the power. The profile is one that we think can have success. You have to have patience with high school players, it is a long development path, but we think he has the ingredients and we think he has the desire and ambition to go out there and compete and fulfill his major league dreams.”
In the second round, the Rays drafted outfielder Ryan Boldt, a junior out of Nebraska. Ryan hit .288 with 22 multi-hit games.
With their 77th pick, the Rays took LSU outfielder Jake Fraley, who hit .321 with 26 stolen bases. He is considered a center fielder.
Lowe reportedly has plus raw power, plus speed and a plus arm. He was named Georgia’s 2015-16 Gatorade Player of the Year after carrying Pope High School to the 6-A finals. As a senior, he batted .391 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI. On the mound, his fastball was clocked in the mid-90s and he recorded six saves for the Greyhounds. Lowe, who runs a 6.5-second 60-yard dash, signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Florida State University.