Texas Rangers’ first baseman Nate Lowe is solidifying himself as a force in the heart of the lineup early this season, showing flashes of that once top prospect potential.
The start of the 2021 season hasn’t gone exactly as the Texas Rangers had planned, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
After giving up 25 runs in the first two ball games against the Royals, pitching has become the focal point of the Rangers’ struggles.
However, the offense has been piling up runs left and right, more specifically Nate Lowe and Joey Gallo.
The Texas Rangers are need of their middle-of-the-order hitters to come alive, and boy have they ever, as both Gallo and Lowe hit back-to-back baseballs upwards of 110 mph on Easter Sunday.
Looking at Nate Lowe specifically, he has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball through the first three games of the year.
So far, Lowe has a major-league leading nine RBIs and is tied for first on the Rangers in home runs and hits.
When the Texas Rangers acquired Nate Lowe in December, they were looking to provide some competition for incumbent first baseman Ronald Guzman, who had an incredible offseason of his own.
Up until this offseason and spring, neither Lowe or Guzman had lived up to their prospect pedigrees, but have both shown they belong at the big league level.
Lowe, a former Mississippi State Bulldog, hit .348 in his final collegiate season with a 32/31 K/BB ratio.
With the Rays, Nate Lowe was considered an offensive powerhouse in the minor leagues and was rated as high as 13th in the Tampa Bay farm system.
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However, in limited plate appearances at the big league level, Lowe struggled against more advanced pitching.
He wasn’t allowed everyday at-bats with the Rays, and it hurt his overall production.
Now with the Rangers, Lowe has been handed the reins at first base and will get to see an abundance of the at-bats there.
At the time of the trade, many were skeptical of Lowe’s acquisition and doubted he could surpass Guzman at first.
Nate Lowe has since silenced the haters and, even after a slow spring, is proving why he had that high pedigree in college and the minor leagues.
After driving in four on Opening Day against the Royals, Lowe has quietly become one of the most fun players to watch in the Rangers’ lineup.
The slow start in spring proved to be worthwhile for Lowe, stating he was falling behind in the count trying to see the ball before the start of the regular season.
He has proven that his patience has paid off by driving the ball the other way in a majority of his at-bats in the opening series.
The one exception was his homer on Sunday, in which he sent the baseball into orbit and eventually landing it in the fountains at Kauffman Stadium.
Nate Lowe is turning it on for the Texas Rangers with regular at-bats.
Brady Singer hung a slider and Lowe didn’t miss. He hit that cement-mixing slider 465 feet at 114 mph off the bat.
That ball was crushed.
His success didn’t come overnight, though.
Both he and Gallo got bats refitted earlier in the offseason, and Nate Lowe also made adjustments at the plate.
Yes, he’s worked on his plate discipline, but also adjusting his stance and hand placement. Look at these still images of Lowe’s stance side-by-side.
Nate Lowe has made plate adjustments that have contributed to his production within a lethal Texas Rangers lineup.
Of note, his hands are considerably lower than his time in Tampa Bay, but more importantly, he looks relaxed at the plate.
His swing is as smooth as it has ever been, and the numbers reflect that work he’s put in.
In short, Nate Lowe is becoming more of a force than any Ranger fan had originally anticipated.
His presence is being made known across the league, but especially in the Rangers’ lineup, and he could provide some much needed protection for All-Star and Gold Glover Joey Gallo.
The Texas Rangers are fielding one of the most dynamic, interesting and fun lineups they have ever had without true star power.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, David Dahl, Joey Gallo and Nate Lowe arguably are one of the most lethal top-of-the-orders across the game’s highest level, and if they can find sustained success at the bottom half, they’ll be as competitive of an offense as anyone’s in the game.