Jed Lowrie

Read Time:7 Minute, 7 Second

 65 total views,  1 views today

Minor League Monday

Jed Lowrie (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On November 3rd, 2021, the Oakland Athletics once again let Jed Lowrie walk to free agency. The 37-year-old fan favorite spent one last year with the A’s after two tumultuous seasons with the Mets and once again turned back the clock. To truly understand Lowrie’s impact on the A’s franchise, we need to look back at the career and life of an Athletics great.

Jed Lowrie would be drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft out of Stanford University. Jed would immediately begin to impress in 2005, hitting a .328/.429/.448 slash in about half a season at Low-A and named a mid-season All-Star. He would be called up to High-A for the 2006 season and fall a bit back down, hitting only a .262/.352/.374 slash. However, he would show enough promise to be called up to Double-A for the 2007 season.

Lowrie absolutely raked in Double-A, hitting a .297/.410/.502 slash there before being called up to Triple-A and raking there with a .300/.356/.506 slash. He would perform so well in Double-A that he would make the All-Star team across multiple platforms (EAS Mid-Season All-Star, Baseball America Double-A All-Star, and Baseball American Minor League All-Star). Jed would go on to be a part of the Arizona Fall League following the season. He wouldn’t perform well, but would be named a rising star for the Mesa Solar Sox.

With his great minor league season in 2007, it was only a matter of time before the defending champion Red Sox had to put him in their lineup. Jed Lowrie would split his time between the Majors and Triple-A in 2008, being the first man up whenever an infielder went down with injury. He would perform well for the Red Sox, hitting a .258/.339/.400 slash in 306 plate appearances for the club. He would step up in the playoffs, hitting a .364/.462/.364 slash in 13 plate appearances across 3 games against the Angels before slumping down to .111/.261/.167 in 23 plate appearances against the Rays.

This unfortunately would be the last year before the biggest plague of Lowrie’s career would begin to take its toll. Early in the 2009 season, Lowrie would sprain his left wrist and be put on the DL. His left wrist would plague him throughout the 2009 and he would miss most of it due to a combination of surgery and reinjury. Due to the stop-start nature of this season, Jed would hit only a .147/.211/.265 slash in 76 plate appearances. During this time however, while his batting suffered his fielding was still well above average with a UZR/150 (his UZR if he had played 150 games) of 21.0 while being a utility infielder compared to his 27.8 the previous year.

2010 wouldn’t start off any better as he was knocked out for the first 3 months of the season recovering from mono. When he got back, however, Jed Lowrie excelled, hitting a .287/.381/.526 slash in 197 plate appearances in 2010. He would continue this hitting form into the start of the 2011 season, hitting a .368/.389/.574 slash in the month of April before falling back down to a .252/.303/.382 slash for the rest of the season as he struggled while platooning with Marco Scutaro.

Due to the depth of the Red Sox infield, the organization looked to move him in the 2011 offseason. They would end up finding a partner in the Houston Astros and would trade Jed Lowrie along with struggling starting pitcher Kyle Weiland for relief pitcher Mark Melancon. Lowrie would have another solid year in 2012, hitting a .244/.331/.438 slash in 387 plate appearances and fielding around league average at 3B and SS.

However, in the offseason Lowrie was once again traded, this time for his first stint with the A’s. He was traded along with Fernando Rodriguez (a reliever recovering from Tommy John) for Chris Carter (discount Joey Gallo), Brad Peacock (fringe MLB starter), and Max Stassi (catching prospect). During his first stint with Oakland, Lowrie would remain surprisingly healthy, playing in 290 games over his two seasons with the team. While his fielding would decline a bit, his hitting would be tremendous in 2013 with a .290/.344/.446 slash before falling off to .249/.321/.355 in 2014 as he struggled a bit with injuries.

As the Athletics tend to do, Jed Lowrie was let go following the season. The Astros decided to give Lowrie another shot, with a 3-year deal for $28 million with the 4th year option. However, as he tends to due with any team other than the A’s, Jed was injured for the majority of his time in Houston only having 263 plate appearances in 2015. This combined with prospects like Carlos Correa coming up and his slash of only .222/.312/.400, convinced the Astros to trade Lowrie back to the A’s in the offseason for minor league relief journeyman, Brendan McCurry.

After acquiring Marcus Semien in a trade, Jed Lowrie would move full-time to 2B. He would struggle a bit in an injury-riddled 2016, hitting only a .263/.314/.322 slash and having a -3.7 UZR at 2B as he learned the position. However, any worries about his abilities or health following the 2016 season would be put to rest in 2017 and 2018.

Across 2017 and 2018 Jed Lowrie would hit a .272/.356/.448 slash and go from a below average to above average fielding second baseman. On top this, Lowrie would play 2 full seasons in those years, compiling over 640 plate appearances each year. To further compound on this, he was named an American League All-Star for the 2018 season. An even better part of this is that he won the Jim Catfish Hunter Award for his conduct on and off the field, though this is not too surprising considering he received the Dave Stewart Service Award back in 2014 for his contribution to the Northern Californian community.

Even with all of these great accolades and performances though, the Athletics let Jed Lowrie walk in free agency and he would sign a 2-year, $20 million contract with the New York Mets. As with many things the Mets do, this did not work out for them.

Lowrie would only have 8 plate appearances for the Mets in those two years as he struggled immensely with injuries. On top of this, the injury situation might have been exasperated by the Mets as Jed got a second opinion from a non-team doctor that would require him to get surgery. The Mets did not approve of the surgery, so Lowrie waiting for his contract to be up before getting the surgery in the 2020 offseason.

With a huge injury question mark hanging above Jed Lowrie, the Athletics decided to sign him to a minor league deal before adding him to the 40-man for the 2021 season. Lowrie would start immediately for the A’s and show that the aging fan-favorite still had a bit of gas left in the tank. While his fielding had fallen off a bit to slightly below average at 2B, his hitting remained solid with a .245/.318/.398 slash across 512 plate appearances. Unfortunately, the Athletics did not decide to retain the soon to be 38-year-old infielder and DH for the 2022 season with the lockout only just ending.

Overall, like Khris Davis, Jed Lowrie will be missed by the Oakland faithful. A great player past his prime that will always be remembered for both his All-Star caliber campaigns and his personality in the locker-room as well as out of it. While the current skills of Lowrie might not be missed, fans will always be nostalgic for those past accomplishments and clutch hitting in the clean-up spot.

All statistics and transaction data from Baseball Reference, MLB.com, and Fangraphs

Subscribe to access a week early and other exclusive contact on the Ultimate Sports Network

Use the Promo Code: F45DF5FMDA

For 10% off of merchandise on and 20% off of subscription to the Ultimate Sports Network

About Post Author

Micah Dahlvig

Everything A's
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Author

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply