Josh Lowe has been a revelation for the Tampa Bay Rays this year. After putting up a 2022 season he would probably rather forget, Lowe took his play to new heights in 2023. While we all have seen him play lights out, few may know how good he really has been.
Becoming a member of the 20 home run/30 stolen bases club is a huge deal in Major League Baseball. In fact, this accomplishment has only been achieved by one Tampa Bay Ray prior to Josh Lowe: Randy Arozarena last year. There are only six players who had 20/30 seasons this year, and the list is basically a who’s who of players with elite power and speed. The list is made up of Ronald Acuna Jr, Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr, Francisco Lindor, Corbin Carroll, and of course Josh Lowe.
What solidifies Lowe’s season in comparison with other elite baserunners is his efficiency. Lowe had a 91.4% stolen base success rate this year, which leads all American League players with over 25 stolen bases. If Lowe was just a little more reckless, perhaps he would have hit 40 or even 50 stolen bases!
Lowe projected well as a power hitter as a prospect, with FanGraphs giving him a 60 grade for his raw power. He showcased this power many times throughout the season, as he got the barrel on the ball at a very solid clip this year. As power can often improve with age, one can expect Lowe’s home run and barrel numbers to go up over the next few seasons.
There are other aspects beyond the stolen bases and home runs that have made Josh Lowe an incredible asset for the Rays this year. He has become one of the most clutch players on the team, with his bizarre walk-off single against the Blue Jays being his most recent escapade in the clutch. The advanced metrics back up his clutch gene as well. Lowe has a 175 wRC+ in high-leverage situations per FanGraphs, and he bats .330 with runners in scoring position.
With many question marks going into the postseason, the Rays are going to need their best players to step up, and Josh Lowe is just the guy to do that. He has had an excellent two-month stretch of August and September, representing stability in a time in Rays franchise history marred in instability. Lowe hopes to carry this into October, where his combination of baserunning, power-hitting and clutch genes will be needed for the team to make that World Series push.