ST. PETERSBURG -- The Lowe brothers plan to come to St. Petersburg this week to sign professional baseball contracts with the Rays. Joshua Lowe, a high school third baseman from Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., was Tampa Bay's No. 1 pick in the 2016 Draft (13th overall) and his brother Nathaniel, a first baseman for Mississippi State, became the team's 13th round selection (390th overall).
According to a source close to the family, both sons received "fair offers" from the Rays and they will sign their contracts sometime this week. The club has not confirmed the agreements.
Joshua, 18, is committed to Florida State. He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia after leading Pope High to the Georgia 6A championship game. He stands 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. As a position player, he can be streaky at the plate, but his quick, controlled left-handed swing and the leverage in his long frame produce considerable raw power.
Joshua also has plus speed, which should translate into solid defense at third base or in center field. He's also a left-handed hitter, a commodity the Rays have struggled to get into their system.
Nathaniel just finished his junior season at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs saw their season end Saturday night after losing to Arizona in a Super Regional contest in Starkville, Miss. He hit .348 with five home runs, 20 doubles and 49 RBIs in 2016, striking out just 31 times in 247 at-bats.
Nathaniel played at Mercer in 2014 before transferring to St. Johns River State College (Palatka, Fla.). He turned down an offer in the 10th round of last year's Draft to attend Mississippi State.
Nathaniel stands 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, and he has a lot of power. Like Joshua, Nathaniel also has a power arm, which might open the door for him to play third base or one of the corner-outfield spots. The only tool he lacks is the speed his brother possesses.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.