This Oregon native was a collegiate All American infielder at Stanford before being selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft. After three year’s in Boston’s farm system, he made his big league debut in April of 2008. When Julio Lugo, the Red Sox starting shortstop suffered a season ending injury in July of that season, Lowrie and Alex Cora shared the position for the rest of the year, with the switch-hitting Lowrie getting more playing time. In 81 games, the rookie hit a productive .258, driving in 46 runs.
Going into the 2009 season, I thought this guy was definitely Boston’s new starting shortstop but he injured his wrist early in the season. After surgery to repair it, Lowrie never got healthy enough to contribute much to that year’s ball club. In 2010, he was felled by a bad case of mononucleosis but once again showed signs of his strong offensive potential when healthy, by hitting .287 with 9 home runs in just 171 at bats that year.
In 2011, Terry Francona platooned Lowrie at short with Marco Scutaro and then that December, they traded him to the Astros for Houston’s closer Mark Melancon. I was surprised Boston gave up on Lowrie’s upside at the time the deal was made but I did like Melancon’s potential as well and I knew the Red Sox had to replace Jon Papelbon, who was heading to Philadelphia as a free agent.
As it turned out, it appears as if I was right about both Lowrie and Melancon’s potential. Both players had stellar seasons in 2013. Unfortunately, neither was wearing a Red Sox uniform at the time.