The Oakland Athletics (12-4) are off to a sizzling start through the first 16 games of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. Many players are responsible for the team’s early success, but shortstop Jed Lowrie is someone that deserves some recognition for his part.
Lowrie was dealt to the Athletics at the end of last season in a five-player trade. No one was more excited about the move than Oakland general manager Billy Beane was.
“He always had good power for a guy in the middle of the infield,” Beane said earlier this year, according to Athletics.com. “It’s just hard to find that kind of power from a guy who can play the middle of the infield and doing it as a switch-hitter.”
Lowrie was never guaranteed the starting shortstop job, but obviously, manager Bob Melvin made the right decision considering what the 29-year-old has been able to do with his opportunity so far this season. The sixth year player is batting .373 with a team-high three home runs, 13 RBI, eight walks, seven doubles and 14 runs in 59 at-bats.
The Athletics did not expect this type of production right out of the gate from Lowrie, but it is certainly good to see. There is no question they would not be currently ranked first in the American League West without his outstanding play at the plate.
There are other players on the team, such as left fielder Seth Smith and first baseman Brandon Moss, who have made quite the impact through the first three weeks of the season. However, no one can come close to Lowrie’s consistent numbers across the board.