Lowe inks big extension with Rays

Published 10:45 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

Former Nansemond River High School baseball standout Brandon Lowe this week signed a lucrative contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays solidified a big part of their future when they extended Lowe to a six-year contract that could pay him up to $49 million dollars. The deal guarantees him $24 million of the $49 million.

The Rays selected Lowe in the 2015 MLB Draft with the 87th overall pick in the third round. Lowe spent time in the AA and AAA leagues, impressing with his ability to hit. His breakout came in 2017 in the Florida State League, where he posted .311, .403 and .524 stat lines. From there, he went on the play for the Montgomery Biscuits in a late call up.

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In 2018, Lowe played for the Biscuits and turned things up a notch, hitting eight homers in 240 plate appearances. He was then called up to play in Durham, N.C., in the AAA league, where he posted 14 home runs in 205 plate appearances. Lowe saw himself called up to the majors after an injury to a Rays player in early August.

It took a while for Lowe to get in a rhythm, as he went 0-19 before getting his first hit. However, in about 35-plus games in the majors, Lowe finished with six home runs. He finished up the end of 2018 in the majors starting 24 games at second base, 11 in center field and five in right field.

The Rays like Lowe’s potential and see him doing even bigger things in the future. Ray’s senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander had this to say about Lowe’s extension:

“We believe Brandon has the potential to make a longstanding impact at the major league level,” Neander said in a statement. “He’s shown both an advanced feel for hitting and the ability to drive the ball to all fields, and he’s quickly becoming a versatile defender who can help us in many ways.

Lowe was obviously excited about his new deal and was grateful to the organization.

“It means a ton, the trust they have in my ability to go out and perform every day,” Lowe said to reporters. “I want to do nothing else but show them that they made the right decision to want to make this deal.”

Lowe played at Nansemond River, where he was an All-District, All-Region and All-State player. After graduating from Nansemond River, he went on to star at the University of Maryland. Warriors coach Mark Stuffel was happy to hear the news.

“Pretty neat to see him make a life for himself in baseball,” Stuffel said. “He has worked hard.”