Appy notes: Rays' Lowe blending right in

Tampa Bay's 2016 first-rounder hits ground running with Princeton

Joshua Lowe is slashing .361/.395/.611 in 11 games with Princeton. (Cliff Welch/

By Bob Sutton / Special to | August 18, 2016 10:00 AM ET

Joshua Lowe has already made one move in the Tampa Bay organization, taking a spot on Rookie-level Princeton's roster in the Appalachian League earlier this month. At some point, though, the 2016 first-round pick's travels could have him in the same clubhouse as his older brother.

That's because first baseman Nathaniel Lowe was also picked by Tampa Bay in the 13th round this June.

Joshua Lowe was in Starkville, Mississippi -- where his brother was getting ready for an NCAA super regional game with Mississippi State -- when the Draft board showed that the older sibling would be headed to the same organization.

"That's pretty cool having family in the same organization," said Joshua Lowe, noting he hasn't played with his brother since one season in high school in Marietta, Georgia, resulted in a state championship. "We thought about it, but we realized the percentages were pretty small when you have 30 teams picking."

The older Lowe is in the New York-Penn League with the Hudson Valley Renegades, so they're both on short-season clubs in their initial pro seasons.

Joshua Lowe, a third baseman who was a Florida State commit before Tampa Bay made him a first-round choice, said he tries to model his style after Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria.

His recent transition from the Gulf Coast League to the Appalachian League gave the younger Lowe a chance to experience something else before his first summer as a professional comes to a close.

"It's kind of fun playing in front of people," he said of environments that are drastically different from the complex ball played in the GCL. "This has been good."

In his first nine games with Princeton, he produced a three-game home-run streak in addition to two three-hit performances.

Lowe appears to be blending in well with the Princeton team while going about his business.

"Very low key, very professional," Rays manager Danny Sheaffer said. "Not fazed by the professional game at all. He fits in with this ball club."

Sheaffer said Lowe, 18, should receive another good taste of how the organization operates during the final weeks of the Appalachian League season.

Lowe said he's gaining an idea of life at this level and the various results that he'll be encountering.

"That's just part of the game, understanding you can't be too high and too low," Lowe said. "Give 100 percent every day. Go out and have your teammates' back because they're going to have yours."

In brief

Just hit me: Danville Braves shortstop Marcus Mooney, a 10th-round pick out of South Carolina, was hit by pitches a league-high 19 times in his first 45 games. That included four times on fastballs in a two-game stretch from Aug. 13-14. "I have no idea [why]," Mooney said. "People ask me if I was standing on the plate. I'm standing in the same spot I normally do."

Peterson's pop: With 11 extra-base hits in his first 13 games in August, Burlington Royals outfielder Kort Peterson maintained a hot streak that has him contending for the league batting lead. The 2016 23rd-round pick out of UCLA wasn't in the lineup on a regular basis the first few weeks. "Once I was, I got a couple of knocks and then got put in again and it kept on rolling," he said.

On a roll: Elizabethton Twins pitcher Alex Schick has won three consecutive starts as the team battles for a playoff spot going into the last two weeks of the season. Schick gave up a combined two runs in the three outings covering 16 1/3 innings. During that stretch, he didn't pitch in a series against the Danville Braves, who have Brett Cumberland, his former college battery mate at California, behind the plate. His spot also didn't come up in the rotation during an earlier series vs. Danville.

Bob Sutton is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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