We last looked at Jed Lowrie back in January. How are things going now?
Lowrie had a horrible spring training for the Red Sox and began the year in Pawtucket, going 4-for-25 (.160) in eight games. But slow starts are a familar pattern for Lawrie, and when the Sox promoted him to the majors to fill a roster whole in early April, he turned things around quickly, hitting .310/.340/.476 in 17 games for Boston. Sent back to Pawtucket to get regular playing time in late May, he's been on fire ever since, now hitting .313/.415/.490 in Triple-A despite the poor April numbers. All told, Triple-A and the majors combined, he's hitting .312/.406/.485 in 44 games.
Obviously I'm happy about this given how much I stuck my neck out with the grade. There are still questions about where he fits defensively, and we need to see how the rest of the season goes as the at-bats pile up. I still see the case for a logical Grade B+ but, as I said before, I went with the instinctual call on this one. We shall see how it pans out. I do think that a straight Grade B would be a bit too low given the quality of his bat.
On the defense issue, his major league numbers are interesting: he played error-less ball in the majors, In 10 games at third base, he posted a 2.86 RF9 vs. a league RF9 of 2.77. In four games at shortstop, he posted a 4.50 RF9 vs a league RF9 of 4.50. At second base he posted a 3.38 RF9 vs a 5.12 league RF9. Baseball Prospectus' fielding ratings have him average at second base and shortstop and above average at third base. The sample size is incredibly small, of course...but at least it's positive, and I found it interesting that his range factor was exactly league average at shortstop, which is exactly what the scouting reports say.
So...how good would Jed Lowrie be if he can hit .300/.375/.450 in the majors, while providing average range and above average reliability at shortstop?