Last season Nathaniel Lowe was a hitting machine but seemed to play the field with a faulty glove at times. In fact, there were cries from many of the Texas Rangers faithful to go out and get a new first baseman and make Lowe the team's everyday designated hitter. What a difference a year can make. It was announced yesterday that Lowe is one of three finalists for the Gold Glove award at first base in the American League.
Lowe won the Silver Slugger award last season, and while he was excited about the feat, he knew that he had to improve on his defense. Not shying away from hard work, Lowe spent the entire offseason and spring training improving his craft. In an article written by MLB.com reporter Kennedi Landry, Lowe made it very clear what his task last offseason would be.
"It’s making light of it, but I know I need to be better defensively. I know there are a handful of plays that I botched and I cost the team games. I know that going forward and being a part of a true championship team, the game is going to have to be me with the glove. And that's something that I really need to put a focus on this winter."- Nathaniel Lowe
It is interesting his wording, of being part of a true championship team and him doing that with his glove. That is exactly where the Rangers are as they currently battle the Astros in the ALCS and Lowe continues to show off his newfound glove work. Many people deserve credit for helping Lowe achieve the success that he has had this season.
The transformation started with an offseason workout group in Florida that included slick-fielding shortstop, Francisco Lindor. There is no doubt that hanging around Lindor had a positive impact on Lowe's defense. Rangers coaches, Tony Beasley and Corey Ragsdale, also deserve props for helping Lowe not only during spring training but throughout the entire regular season as well.
Lowe not only put in the effort, but he turned that work into a great season with the glove. There are few players that can take a shortfall in their game and turn it into a strength as quickly as Lowe was able to do over the last year. A tip of the hat to one of the true grinders in the game.