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Lowe rides power binge to Player of the Week

Rays' No. 14 prospect belted five homers over four-game stretch
Brandon Lowe batted .400/.464/1.080 while driving in 10 runs last week for Triple-A Durham. (Austin Friedline/Indianapolis Indians)
June 25, 2018

Brandon Lowe's blistering week brought him back to a fundamental feeling about sports. "It's been a blast," he said. "Baseball's a lot of fun when you're doing well."

Brandon Lowe's blistering week brought him back to a fundamental feeling about sports.
"It's been a blast," he said. "Baseball's a lot of fun when you're doing well."

Tampa Bay's No. 14 prospect crushed five home runs over his last four games to finish off a scorching stretch that resulted in International League Player of the Week honors on Monday. Over a six-game span, Lowe batted .400/.464/1.080, driving in 10 runs to power Triple-A Durham.

View the Pitcher of the Week winners »

The 23-year-old simplified his approach after a slow start with the Bulls. Prior to the start of the award period on June 18, Lowe was a .156/.229/.219 hitter through his first eight Triple-A games with two doubles and no home runs.

"[I'm] getting started on-time with my load and staying aggressive to the fastball and adjusting to other pitches," he said. "Really I was trying to do too much. I was trying to hit the ball too hard, trying to get the hits instead of letting the hits come and doing what I do best. It's a little bit more of an adjustment. There are a lot of guys that are up and down from the big leagues here. They're more of pitchers. They know how to control their stuff more. They can throw all their pitches in every count, and that was a little bit more of an adjustment for me that first week or so."

Everything started to click for Lowe on June 19 when the second baseman/outfielder went 2-for-5 with a double. After an 0-for-3 game with a walk the following day, Lowe went 8-for-17 over his next four, bashing all five of his Triple-A home runs and nine of his 10 RBIs for the week, including a career-best five on June 23. That effort came as part of a 3-for-5 showing with two jacks and a double at Indianapolis.

"I'm not trying to hit home runs," he said. "I'm just trying to drive the ball in a gap. Sometimes you catch it a little under, you get a little more out front, and that double swing ends up carrying out of the yard."

Lowe was named the Florida State League's Most Valuable Player last year after batting .311/.403/.524 in 90 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte. After finishing 2017 with a monthlong stint in Double-A, Lowe returned to Montgomery to start this season and was named a Southern League All-Star after a first half in which he batted .299/.400/.508 leading to his call to Durham.

"It's a really good feeling to show that it wasn't just a one-season kind of thing and that I can keep producing and keep swinging it well," he said.

One step below the big leagues, the University of Maryland product is remaining in the moment for now.

"Just stay within myself," he stressed. "I know what kind of hitter I am and what kind of hitter I'm not. If I try to hit the ball too hard or try to swing too hard, I end up messing myself up more. Just staying and being the kind of hitter I know I am [is key]."

Below is the complete list of Minor League Offensive Player of the Week winners for June 18-24:

League Player Team MLB Stats
International Brandon Lowe Durham TB .400/.464/1.080, 6 G, 10-for-25, 2 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB, 5 K
Pacific Coast Kyle Tucker Fresno HOU .577/.607/.769, 6 G, 15-for-26, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 SB
Eastern Zach Green Reading PHI .417/.517/1.250, 7 G, 10-for-24, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB, 5 K
Texas Randy Cesar Corpus Christi HOU .409/.458/.727, 6 G, 9-for-22, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K
California Rylan Bannon Rancho Cucamonga LAD .643/.737/1.214, 4 G, 9-for-14, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 CS
Carolina Abraham Toro Buies Creek HOU .500/.611/1.000, 4 G, 7-for-14, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 2 K
Florida State Luke Williams Clearwater PHI .429/.429/.946, 7 G, 12-for-28, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Midwest Ryan Noda Lansing TOR .438/.500/1.125, 4 G, 7-for-16, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K
South Atlantic Pablo Olivares Charleston NYY .450/.476/.950, 4 G, 9-for-20, 1 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
New York-Penn Payton Squier Vermont OAK .579/.636/.895, 5 G, 11-for-19, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Northwest Diego Rincones Salem-Keizer SF .462/.444/.808, 6 G, 12-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Pioneer Coco Montes Grand Junction COL .483/.516/.793, 7 G, 14-for-29, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Appalachian Mason Martin Bristol PIT .375/.483/.958, 6 G, 9-for-24, 0 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 CS

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.