NR’s Lowe drafted by Rays

Published 9:16 pm Thursday, June 11, 2015

University of Maryland star Brandon Lowe of Suffolk was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft on Tuesday. (University of Maryland Athletics)

University of Maryland star Brandon Lowe of Suffolk was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft on Tuesday. (University of Maryland Athletics)

The Tampa Bay Rays made former Nansemond River High School baseball star Brandon Lowe the 87th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft on Tuesday.

“I didn’t know where or if I was going to go,” he said. “I heard my name get called, and it was an unbelievable feeling.”

The draft featured 1,215 picks spread across 40 rounds, and Lowe, a redshirt sophomore second baseman at the University of Maryland, went in the third round after turning in one of the best offensive seasons in Terrapins history.

Email newsletter signup

In 2015, he had a batting average of .331 and led Maryland (42-24) with 83 hits and 18 doubles. He also led the team with a .542 slugging percentage, he hit nine home runs and he walked 38 times.

Lowe was named to the All-Big Ten Conference first team and was also named to the 60-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list. Last season, he earned a freshman All-American honor.

During the third round of the draft, he was in Maryland watching it unfold on the MLB Network with some friends.

“One of the people we were sitting with had a feed, and it was going a little bit faster, and she started saying, ‘You got drafted,’” Lowe said. “And I was like, ‘Ah, no, I don’t think so.’ And then it caught up on our screen, and then we all started celebrating.”

His selection was the realization of what he said was a lifelong dream.

“Pretty sure it started when I picked up a bat,” he said, noting that first happened when he was really young. “I was that little kid that probably walked around the house with his bat — just loved the game and want to keep playing it.”

Born in Newport News, Lowe grew up and has spent most of his life in Suffolk, getting his first taste of organized ball playing with Bennett’s Creek Little League.

He starred at Nansemond River under the guidance of coach Mark Stuffel, who was elated to see him get drafted.

“It was awesome,” Stuffel said. “When he got drafted, I went in and gave coach (Tom) Lowe a high five.”

Warriors assistant coach Tom Lowe was excited for his son.

“It’s his dream come true to have something like that happen,” he said of the pick. “It’s always nice to see your kids achieve something they’ve worked for.”

Stuffel said Brandon Lowe is the first of his former players to be selected in the MLB Draft during his tenure as NR head coach.

“But I don’t think he’ll be the last,” the coach said.

When Stuffel was an assistant coach at Nansemond River, he worked with Greg Sexton, who also went on to be drafted by the Rays.

Lowe now faces the decision of accepting Tampa Bay’s invitation and beginning work in its minor league system or instead continuing on at Maryland and waiting for a future draft.

“Right now, we’re not a hundred percent sure,” Lowe said. “We’re still ironing some stuff out with me and my family, and we’ll know pretty soon.”

Should Lowe pursue professional baseball, Stuffel likes his prospects for advancement.

“I think he’s got a shot of making it to the big leagues,” the coach said.