You know, when the Oakland Athletics made the trade to acquire Jed Lowrie, they were the ones who were supposedly giving up a good bit of power and offense in a package that included slugger Chris Carter.
Yet, one week into the season, it’s been Lowrie who has been leading the team offensively to a 5-2 record.
Sure, early season small sample sizes affords us such fun opportunities to look at some wildly-skewed numbers (I’m looking your way, Chris Davis), but that doesn’t take too much away from what Oakland’s current shortstop has done through seven games.
The 28-year old has been one of hottest hitters out of the gate in MLB, leading the A’s in hits (13), average (.500) OPS (1.567), plus a slew of other stats in which he’s leading or tied. For those who enjoy counting numbers, he also tops the rest of his Oakland brethren in RBI with six.
Considering that this is an A’s team that’s packing offensive weapons like Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss, that it’s the shortstop Lowrie leading the way is more than a little surprising.
Then again, considering that he’s been on tears like this before with his previous teams (.859 OPS in June of 2012, .962 OPS in April of 2011, etc.), you might even say that he’s always kind of had it in him.
Just ask the Houston Astros, who got a little dose of payback on Sunday when Lowrie dished out three hits against his former team, included a pace-setting two-run homer off Lucas Harrell in the second inning that really set the tone for the 9-2 beating that was to come.
Obviously, this kind of production isn’t going to keep up, and health has never been an easy question for him to answer, but what is the realistic level-off point for Lowrie? Should it be reconsidered?
I’d imagined that he’d end up being someone like a Ben Zobrist-lite minus the steals; could he actually instead approach the 20-homer, .800+ OPS numbers that the Tampa Bay Rays‘ own super-utility man put up over the last couple of years? 4.0 fWAR is already quite a lofty goal … could he get near 5.0?
Lowrie will have to stay on the field enough first, but as least for one small-sample week, he looks well on his way to smashing expectations.