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6/1/1973 (43 y, 8 m, 23 d)
1991 June Amateur Draft - Round: 8, Pick: 11, Overall: 214, Team: Seattle Mariners
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Lowe announced his retirement Thursday, NESN.com reports. (7/18/2013)
Worst Final Seasons, Part Three
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
Audio: Dan Duquette Thought Derek Lowe Was Left-Ha»
Carson Cistulli (NotGraphs)
Derek Lowe Says Farewell
Alex Remington (FanGraphs)
Bullpen Report: March 31, 2013
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Setting a Derek Lowe Baseline
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The 36-year-old Lowe turned in one of his worst seasons as a starter, with his 2.8 WAR better than only his first year with the Dodgers. The reasons are plentiful. His strikeout rate continued a three-year decline and was even more fringy than usual at 5.13 K/9. He turned in a five-year high in walk rate (2.91 BB/9), too. Since he's never been a big strikeout artist (5.84 K/9 career), the fact that he also turned in his career-worst ground-ball percentage (56.3% 2009, first time under 60%) and a corresponding career-worst in fly-ball percentage (25.8% in ‘09, 20.2% career) is much more worrisome. Optimists could say that those percentages are still above average and show that Lowe doesn't depend on the strikeout to perform well. They might also point out that Lowe was worth just about what he was paid in 2009 and that a .330 BABIP masked a reasonable 4.06 FIP.
The Year Ahead:
Even though 2009 was a down year for Lowe, it ended a four-year run of consistent pitching that bodes well for his 2010. He may never turn in another season of a low-3.00 ERA, but the WHIP should return to its customary sub-1.30 level, making him a productive, if not exciting, fantasy pitcher once again. As the Braves’ offense improves, he may even add some wins because he pitches deep into games and gets decisions. Just look at his 15-10 record in those 194 innings in 2009 for proof. With a better WHIP and a high-3.00 ERA, Lowe can help the back-end of a fantasy rotation, and the price will be low (pun intended). Look for him in the late rounds as a low-upside, low-risk solution. (Eno Sarris)
Derek Lowe had a terrible first year of his four-year, $60 million contract with Atlanta, but partially redeemed himself in 2010, looking especially good with a 1.48 ERA in his last seven starts, five in September and two against the Giants in the NLDS. It’s hard to build a projection on just seven starts, considering that he was pretty mediocre in his previous 62 starts in a Braves uniform, but it certainly made him look more like the guy they paid for. Still, he doesn’t strike many people out, he gives up a lot of contact leading to a decently high WHIP, and his 16 wins in 2010 tied his National League high. If he can keep his ERA under 4.00, he might be worth some sleeper consideration, but that’s about it. The Braves need him to be a rotation anchor, but fantasy owners have no such obligation, particularly as he turns 38 in June. (Alex Remington)
The Quick Opinion:
An old sinker-baller showed flashes of his old self in October and will probably be better than his awful 2009. Still, that's not saying much.
Like his former Braves teammate Tim Hudson; Lowe is durable, posts mediocre strikeout rates and relies heavily on his defense in order to succeed. Problem is, he's just not as good as Hudson. While Lowe's 3.70 FIP indicates he's due to improve in 2012, he's moving to a tougher league and playing on a team with a porous infield defense. His walk rate also jumped a bit last season, adding more cause for concern since Lowe's approach already leads to a ton of hits. His ERA might see a slight improvement next season, but there are a lot of factors working against him as well. (Chris Cwik)
The Quick Opinion:
Lowe has been durable and consistent over his career, but he's just an average fantasy option. A move to the American League -- and to a troublesome defense infield -- will limit his improvement this season.
It has been a while since the 39-year-old Lowe had value as a fantasy starter, given the sinker-baller's high ERAs (4.68 from 2009-2012), high WHIPs (1.49), and low strikeout rates (5.50 K/9 and 13.9 K%). He did have some success with the Yankees after moving to the bullpen last season (3.04 ERA and 14.3 K% in 23.2 IP) and could emerge as a holds sleeper if he settles for a similar role in 2013. Lowe is more waiver wire fodder than someone you target on draft/auction day at this point of his career. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Lowe has little fantasy value as a starter given his propensity for base-runners and earned runs, but he could emerge as a holds sleeper next summer if he settles for a relief role. Either way, he's more waiver wire fodder than anything.
We can finally close the books on the Heathcliff Slocumb trade, sixteen years after the fact. The 21.6 wins above replacement Derek Lowe posted with the Red Sox before leaving in free agency would have made him the fifth-most valuable Seattle pitcher of all time, and he only started 111 games in those six seasons. Mariners baseball! Lowe will never really get the level of respect he deserved, given that he spent his twenties pitching the seventh and eighth, and had the temerity like so many other jerks to be overpaid in his waning years. But someday America will finally conquer its strikeout fetish, take another long look at Lowe’s life accomplishments, and say, “You know, that guy was above average.” (Patrick Dubuque)
The Quick Opinion:
There are many worse ways to sum up a baseball player's career.
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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