2018 Level: High-A/Low-A
Current/Future/Ceiling Grades: 35/50/55
What we know:
Lowther has been statistically dominant since the Orioles selected him 74th overall in the 2017 draft out of Xavier. In that time, he’s pitched 177.1 innings of 2.02 ERA ball, striking out 11.43/9 with a 0.94 WHIP. Lowther is successful without a plus pitch and his fastball sits only 89-91 mph but offers late armside run. He throws a slurvy breaking ball (79-81) and a changeup (83-84) he sells well with arm speed but lacks wipeout drop or fade. This collection of average pitches plays up due to a deception delivery. He utilizes a drop and drive motion and gets excellent extension towards the plate. He also commands his fastball and curveball well, pinpoint at times, although he fights inconsistency in his follow-through from time to time.
What we don’t know:
The big question is how his fastball will play at higher levels. Although he fits the profile of a finesse lefty and offers a quality breaking ball and changeup, he leans heavily on his fastball. It misses a ton of bats when located, but it will be stress tested in AA/AAA. How well it plays against hitters who lay off pitcher’s pitches will be telling. We also aren’t sure how his command will play going forward. He’s a strike thrower and can hit all four quadrants at times but may need to add strength to tighten up the consistency of his delivery.
What we think:
Lowther is a smart pitcher. What he lacks in pure stuff, he makes up for in deception and pitchability. He’s adept at reading swings and knows how to take advantage of hitters’ flaws. He looks like a #4/5 starter with the moderate risk that the fastball doesn’t play and he moves to the bullpen where it gains a few ticks. Either way, he looks like a MLB asset. The upside is mid-rotation starter. The way I’d see that playing out is if his velocity would consistently sit a few couple ticks higher across the board. He has had a couple outings where he’s been 90-93 t94 with all the secondaries up a couple ticks too, so it’s not out of the question.
Written by Luke Siler