ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have selected third baseman Joshua Lowe from Pope High School (Marietta, Ga.) with the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Lowe, 18, bats left-handed. Among high school players in the draft, Baseball America tabbed him as the No. 2 Power Hitter, No. 2 Infield Arm and No. 2 Athlete. MLB.com graded him as the No. 3 infield prospect available in the draft.
This is the third time the Rays have used their first overall selection on a third baseman, following Evan Longoria (2006) and Richie Shaffer (2012). He becomes the third high school infielder drafted by the Rays with their first overall selection, joining shortstop Tim Beckham (2008) and shortstop B.J. Upton (2002).
Widely regarded as one of the top two-way players available in the draft, Lowe 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.
Lowe's older brother, Nathaniel, is a draft-eligible first baseman for Mississippi State University. His father, David, was a fifth-round selection by the Seattle Mariners in 1986 out of Satellite Beach (Fla.) High School, but opted instead to accept his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. David Lowe spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy.