Don’t Look Over Jed Lowrie

Currently, Jed Lowrie is going as the 16th shortstop or 17th second baseman in Yahoo! leagues. This is the third hitter on a playoff team who played a full season last year with a high average and solid power production, and as I previously alluded to, is eligible at two of the notoriously weakest hitting positions in the game.

A .290/.344/.446 line with 15 homers, 80 runs, and 75 RBI is pretty great for the first time we’ve been able to see Lowrie in a full season. His power obviously dropped down a bit as he moved to Oakland, but he sacrificed some walks for more contact and posted an excellent all around offensive season. One area he has not contributed is stolen bases, so in drafting Lowrie you have to be looking to fill in that void at other positions. You hate to get absolutely no stolen base help from a middle infield spot, but if I had to go with Lowrie or an Andrelton Simmons in a redraft league I’m picking Lowrie.

I don’t love Lowrie to be the next great middle infielder, but I do think there is a certain value in him that is being massively overlooked by many. Last year the one player I wanted on all of my teams was Matt Carpenter, but that was before a breakout. This year a guy I am confidently buying at his current draft spot is Lowrie, and his low draft spot gives you the ability to hedge against the always relevant injury risks he faces.
Carpenter had an unbelievable season, hitting .319 with 11 home runs and an astonishing 126 runs scored. Most of his value is tied to the average and runs scored. Let’s take a look at what ZiPS thinks of both of them and see where we think the better value is.

Carpenter: 150 games, .272/.351/.413, 10 home runs, 79 runs, 69 RBI, 4 SB
Lowrie: 119 games, .263/.324/.422, 13 home runs, 56 runs, 54 RBI, 1 SB

Drafting Lowrie 140 picks later in the 18th round along with a potential backup for when he gets injured seems like it would be far more valuable than going with Carpenter in the 5th, and you will not find many people who are bigger overall Matt Carpenter fans than me.

Many fantasy writers and industry folk have alluded to the value of having a player that can produce but is expected to miss time combining with a replacement. It’s a solid strategy when looking for late draft value. Guys like Lowrie are perfect for that type of investment. You are drafting him so late that were anything to happen to him, you could drop him without issue if your roster has limited bench and disabled list spots. It’s an ultimate low investment situation that can pay great dividends, and you are able to even make that investment after seeing what Lowrie could do in a standard full season.

It is not as if his batted ball profile screams regression or that he had some type of bloated career year. He played during a healthy 29-year-old season and improved in areas you would like to see players improve. Draft Lowrie with confidence at second base or shortstop and be happy that you were the one willing to take him a bit earlier than the average drafter.

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

13 Responses to “Don’t Look Over Jed Lowrie”

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  1. Iron says:

    Don’t Look Over, Jed Lowrie.

    But the cute blond sitting behind you has been staring at you for the last five minutes.

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    • Kyle H says:

      Don’t Look Over, Jed Lowrie.

      Seriously. You might get whiplash or some other obscure injury to ruin another season for you and Ben Duronio’s seasons.

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    • shibboleth says:

      But Lowrie never did the Kenosha, kid.

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      • Nevin says:

        Jed Lowrie comes down the steps, all decked out in a green French suit of wicked cut with a subtle purple check in it, broad flowered tie won at the trente-et-quarante table, brown and white wing tipped shoes with golf cleats and white socks, all topped off now with a midnight blue snap-brim fedora and is away, clickity-clack, out the door of the Casino Hermann Goering, looking sharp.

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  2. tylersnotes says:

    i love jed lowrie, and if i could have him as my MI in any format this year I’d be thrilled. But to me he’s a testament to how much deeper the MI positions are than they have been in the recent past. Just looking at the 15-20 ss by ADP according to fantasypros, it’s this group:

    15- Jurickson Profar
    16- Jed Lowrie
    17- Jimmy Rollins
    18- Jonathan Villar
    19- Jhonny Peralta
    20 Brad Miller

    I’d be content with any of those guys. In my mind Miller’s stock could rise the most between now and draft day, and Villar is a sneaky pick to be even more valuable than Lowrie based on his SB potential (although his avg projections cancel that out). Rollins and Peralta aren’t sexy picks but at where they’re being drafted it’s hard to argue.

    Lowrie is the 16th/17th SS/2b off the board because there are potentially 16 or 17 MI who could easily be as good as or better than him. And he’s as good or better than this article suggests (basically all he needs to do is stay reasonably healthy, which he has now proven is possible). But if it’s him, Simmons, Profar, and Bogaerts all available I’ll let someone else take him and be happy with one of the other guys.

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    • Brendan says:


      There’s a good group of SSs in the lower rounds that are in a wOBA range projection of .320-.330. It’s a deeper position full of similar offensive production.

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    • Cavan Biggio says:

      Miller looks like a .300/.370/.480 player as soon as next year. PICK HIM UP NOW! =)

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  3. BG says:

    My team needs steals help, the only guy projected to get 20+ on my team is Segura (my MI, with Tulo as SS). It’s a 10 team roto league, and I’ve got Lowrie and Rendon at 2b, with plenty of outfielders, Harper, Stanton, Myers, Gordon, Hart, A Jackson, Yelich, A Garcia and Calhoun. Should I try and move one of the OFs with Lowrie for an upgrade at 2B? It’s the only position on my team I’m not in love with.

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    • tylersnotes says:

      lowrie’s multi position eligibility makes him valuable to me, esp if tulo/rendon are your 2b/ss starters with their injury risk. your 4 mi combined should put up 2 full seasons. however, trading lowrie for a comparable mi who could put up more steals, maybe villar, would make sense to me.

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      • tylersnotes says:

        although you should be able to get more than villar in return, but i really like him to put up great sb numbers this year and similar counting stats to lowrie, just a lot worse avg

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  4. BothDakotas says:

    ssshhhhhh, need to be able to take him late!

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