Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts

Nate Lowe to Rangers - Fantasy Impact

Nate Lowe has been FREED!!!!!

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded their talented slugging first baseman as well as first baseman Jake Guenther to the Texas Rangers for catcher Heriberto Hernandez, infielder Osleivis Basabe, and outfielder Alexander Ovalles. This is the moment many fantasy baseball players have been waiting for, the chance for Nate Lowe to play every day.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season MLB and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Team Sync platform, Premium articles, daily Matchup Rating projections, 15 lineup tools, DFS cheat sheets, Research Stations, Lineup Optimizers and much more! Go Premium, Win More!


The Excitement Has Been Building

Since 2018, Lowe has been climbing prospect rankings. In 2018, he played at three minor league levels (High A/AA/AAA) and put up a combined stat line of .330-27-102-93-1. With that excellent stat line came a .576 SLG as well as a .242 ISO. His plate discipline was outstanding, with a 12.3% walk rate and a 16.2% strikeout rate. Lowe was impressive in 2018, and that began the chants of FREE NATE LOWE across the fantasy baseball landscape. 

When it came to the Rays and finding regular playing time for Lowe, it was difficult as the Rays are among the best at platooning players in baseball. With Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, and others playing first base, there was not much room left for Lowe. He played from time to time when injuries were allowed, but not enough to take over a regular job at first. 

Since the Rays could not play Lowe full time, they did the next best thing and traded him for prospects to strengthen other areas of their farm system. The trade works well for both teams as the Rays receive some excellent prospects while the Rangers get a much-needed starting first baseman. Now that the deal is complete let’s look at what we should expect from Nate Lowe, playing every day in 2021.


Changes Needed to Breakout

Lowe joining the Rangers is going to be outstanding for his fantasy production. Lowe is a player with a career minor league average of .304 with 54 home runs, a .400 OBP, .185 ISO, and an 18.4% strikeout rate. Lowe accomplished those numbers in 405 minor league games, with most of the power coming in the final 223 games. These solid offensive numbers have yet to fully crossover in the bigs as Lowe is only hitting .251 with 11 home runs, a .209 ISO, and a crazy 36.8% strikeout rate. His early production in the Majors has not lived up to the hype, but there's no need to panic as Lowe is only 25 years old and now has a great place to call home. 

When digging into Lowe’s issues from the minors to the major leagues, his overall contact and swing and miss stand out in a big way. In 2020 Lowe’s zone-contact rate was 73.3% (league average 82.8%), and chase contact was 62.1% (league average 59.4%). The contact rates are lower than desired, but his swing rates are also below average, questioning his patience at the plate. Is he like Cavan Biggio? Does he take too many pitches, which limits his overall production? The poor contact quality and the potentially cautious approach at the plate led to a 36.8% strikeout rate with an 11.8% walk rate. 

Let’s speculate more. Lowe’s strikeout rate was 36.8% in 2020 and 29.6% in 2019 after having strikeout rates in the minors that were usually between 15-20%. Lowe’s most significant struggles in this department came versus left-handed pitching. In 2020 he struck out 70.6% of the time versus LHP, but only in 15 at-bats. He also only hit .133 with a .000 ISO and 14 wRC+ versus LHP. He was dreadful versus LHP. Does that mean he can’t hit lefties? Not at all.

The Rays were breaking the Cardinal Rule that so many other teams break by not allowing left-handed hitters to face left-handed pitching regularly before determining a player cannot hit them. The Rays were not allowing Lowe to hit often versus lefties even though he was successful versus LHP in the minors. During 2019 in AAA, Lowe hit .284 with a .130 ISO, 21.3% walk rate, and a 19.3% strikeout rate versus LHP. One can look back at all his minor league splits and see the success had versus LHP, so I would not panic about that until the major league sample size gets larger. 

Sure Lowe was striking out a lot and could not hit lefties in his short major league sample, but another significant thing needs to change: his ground ball rate. In 2019 he had a groundball rate of 41.3%, which rose to 46.2% in 2020. Over that same time frame, his fly ball rate went from 22.1% to 15.4%. That is detrimental as he hits the ball so hard, and when he elevates the ball, the results are phenomenal. Lowe has had a hard-hit rate of at least 43.6% in his two major league seasons, with a max exit velocity of at least 114 mph and barrel rates of 10.6% and 15.4%. His average EV on fly balls has been at least 92 mph, and he carries an HR/FB rate of 30% or higher. Lowe hits the ball so hard but does not elevate it enough. A minor tweak at the plate could lead to a monster home run season. 

Lastly, Lowe needs to work on hitting the fastball (four-seam fastball). In 2020 Lowe had a 60% strikeout rate versus fastballs. When he put the ball in play, it was not much better as he only had a .154 average, .115 ISO, and a .256 xwOBA. These numbers are not acceptable when the fastball should be one of the most straightforward pitches to hit. One stumbling block could be the fact Lowe is not aggressive enough. He is only swinging at 34.4% of fastballs with a horrible 20.6% contact rate. My idea of aggressiveness makes more sense when Lowe has an SwStr% of 16.8% versus fastballs with a 28.2% CallStr%., for a 45% CSW. If Lowe can improve on hitting fastballs, his results will be significant because he has a 50% hard-hit rate, 25% barrel rate, and a 54.5% fly-ball rate versus the fastball. More contact on the fastball will result in the strikeouts dropping, and the offensive production will climb. 


What to Expect in 2021

After reading the last few paragraphs, one may think of doom and gloom, but this is not the case. Lowe is only 25 and has a lot of pedigree to build off. Every day at-bats, the comfort of knowing his name is in the lineup each time he comes to the ballpark should do wonder for his overall stat line. The issues discussed previously are fixes that can be made with a little hard work and the right environment. 

Lowe will be moving from the fifth-worst (27 overall) offensive ballpark in baseball to the 13 ranked park for the 2020 season. The new Globe Life Park was close to a neutral ballpark, which is still a nice upgrade for Lowe. The ballpark will not be the only thing that changes for the positive as he will also receive regular playing time. Roster Resource has Lowe projected to hit sixth for the Rangers, but there is a lot of chance to advance in the lineup as there are a lot of question marks projected to hit ahead of him. 

The improved ballpark and locked in at-bats, likely in the middle of the Rangers’ lineup, should result in an excellent fantasy line. Lowe should be in line for a .280+ average with 25+ home runs and solid counting stats. Steamer currently projects Lowe for .260-24-64-68-2, which is lower than I would expect. His ADP is sure to skyrocket in upcoming drafts and, by the end of the draft season, should land in the 14-17 range among the first baseman. Feel free to jump on the Nate Lowe train as he has been FREED from Tampa Bay!!!!!

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More 2021 Fantasy Baseball Advice


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts


Anthony Davis2 hours ago

Aims To Play In All 82 Regular-Season Games
Larry Nance2 hours ago

Pelicans Hope To Have Larry Nance Jr. Ready For Season Opener
Zion Williamson2 hours ago

Worked On Being "Unguardable" In Offseason
Kenrich Williams2 hours ago

Fully Healthy Ahead Of New Season
Cameron Johnson2 hours ago

Misses Start Of Training Camp
Christian Koloko3 hours ago

Ruled Out Indefinitely
Geno Smith9 hours ago

Avoids Serious Injury
Pat Freiermuth10 hours ago

Likely Out 2-3 Weeks
Joe Ryan10 hours ago

To Start Game 3 If Needed
Philadelphia Phillies10 hours ago

Trea Turner Healthy For Wild-Card Series
Darren Waller10 hours ago

Has Another Dreadful Performance In Week 4
Javonte Williams10 hours ago

Shouldn't Miss Much Time
Daniel Jones11 hours ago

Sacked 11 Times In Blowout Loss
Corbin Burnes12 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Against Diamondbacks
Byron Buxton12 hours ago

Unlikely To Be On Roster For Wild-Card Series
Carlos Correa12 hours ago

Royce Lewis, Carlos Correa Expected To Be Ready For Wild-Card Series
Jordan Montgomery12 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Geno Smith12 hours ago

Returns In The Second Half
Geno Smith13 hours ago

Questionable To Return With Knee Injury
Bones Hyland13 hours ago

Likely To Be Backup Point Guard
Seattle Seahawks13 hours ago

Jamal Adams Will Not Return On Monday Night
Trey Murphy13 hours ago

III Could Be Back In November
Domantas Sabonis14 hours ago

Is Fully Healthy
Kevin Gausman14 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Bryce McGowens14 hours ago

Dealing With Minor Injury
Gordon Hayward14 hours ago

Healthy Entering Camp
Matthew Stafford14 hours ago

"Should Be Good" For Week 5
Kyren Williams14 hours ago

Dealing With Hip Contusion
Saquon Barkley15 hours ago

Officially Inactive On Monday Night
Radim Simek15 hours ago

Opening Night Availability In Doubt
Ivan Miroshnichenko16 hours ago

Getting Strong Opportunity With Capitals
Jansen Harkins16 hours ago

Claimed Off Waivers By Penguins
Trevor Zegras16 hours ago

Ducks Agree To Three-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys16 hours ago

Cowboys Not Concerned With Micah Parsons' Injury
Josh Manson16 hours ago

Expected To Be Ready For Opening Night
New England Patriots16 hours ago

Matthew Judon, Christian Gonzalez Out Indefinitely
Buffalo Bills16 hours ago

Tre'Davious White Done For The Year
Kenny Pickett17 hours ago

Dealing With Bone Bruise
Jonathan Taylor17 hours ago

Could Play In Week 5
Evan Mobley17 hours ago

Adds Seven Pounds Of Muscle
Max Strus17 hours ago

Expects To Start This Season
Devin Vassell17 hours ago

Spurs Agree To Extension
Joe Burrow18 hours ago

Will Start In Week 5
Minnesota Twins18 hours ago

Royce Lewis Unsure If He'll Be Ready For Wild-Card Series
Brandon Woodruff18 hours ago

To Miss Wild-Card Series With Shoulder Injury
Devin Vassell20 hours ago

Wants To Remain With The Spurs
Tee Higgins20 hours ago

Says He Could Be Back This Week
Keldon Johnson20 hours ago

Ready To Show He's A Good Defender
Jonathan Taylor20 hours ago

To Practice Wednesday
Isaiah Livers20 hours ago

Out 6-8 Weeks With Ankle Sprain
Jonathan Isaac20 hours ago

Expected To Fully Participate In Training Camp
Desmond Ridder20 hours ago

Not Being Benched
Jimmy Garoppolo21 hours ago

To Remain Starter When Healthy
Luis Arraez21 hours ago

Expected To Return In Game 1?
Max Scherzer23 hours ago

Limited To Flat-Ground Work
Brandon Pfaadt23 hours ago

To Start Game 1 For D-Backs
Payton Pritchard23 hours ago

Celtics, Payton Pritchard Working On Extension
James Harden23 hours ago

Misses Media Day, Waiting For Trade
Malcolm Brogdon23 hours ago

Likely To Remain In Trade Discussions
Martin Truex Jr1 day ago

. Finishes 19th At Talladega
Alex Bowman1 day ago

Starts Strong But Finishes Poorly At Talladega
Drake Batherson1 day ago

Racks Up Four Points In Preseason Win
Kyle Busch1 day ago

Underwhelms At Talladega
Matthew Knies1 day ago

Shining In Preseason
Filip Chytil1 day ago

Progressing From Upper-Body Injury
Brad Keselowski1 day ago

Earns Crucial Stage Win At Talladega
Daniil Tarasov1 day ago

Doubtful For Start Of Season
Kyle Palmieri1 day ago

Has Started Skating But Remains Absent For Islanders
Samuel Savoie1 day ago

Undergoes Successful Surgery
Kevin Harvick1 day ago

Has Runner-Up Finish Stripped Due To DQ
Denny Hamlin1 day ago

Championship Hopes In Great Shape After Talladega
Ryan Blaney1 day ago

Wins Talladega, Advances To Round Of Eight
Jesús Luzardo1 day ago

Jesus Luzardo Set To Start Game 1
Tampa Bay Rays2 days ago

Tyler Glasnow Expected To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Zack Wheeler2 days ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Cole Sillinger2 days ago

Might Start Campaign In AHL
2 days ago

Brandon Sutter Announces Retirement
Ilya Mikheyev2 days ago

Questionable For Opening Night
Conor Timmins2 days ago

Set To Miss Time
Robby Fabbri2 days ago

Not Expected To Be Out For Long
John Gibson2 days ago

Escapes Serious Injury
Justin Steele2 days ago

No Longer Starting On Sunday
NASCAR2 days ago

J.J Yeley Tries To Duplicate Spring Talladega Magic
Kyle Larson2 days ago

Begins Fourth At Talladega On Sunday
Erik Jones2 days ago

Contends Well At Talladega And It Shows
Ryan Preece2 days ago

Could Use A Little Luck At Talladega
Austin Dillon2 days ago

Starts 14th At Talladega On Sunday
Brennan Poole2 days ago

Could Move Up On Sunday
Daniel Suarez2 days ago

Keeps Improving At Talladega
Harrison Burton2 days ago

Has Some Good News Sunday
Austin Cindric2 days ago

Cracks Top Ten In Qualifying
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Likes To Lead Laps At Talladega
NASCAR2 days ago

Bubba Wallace Runs Well At Talladega
Tyler Reddick2 days ago

Starts 13th At Talladega On Sunday Again
Chase Elliott2 days ago

Worth A Shot At Talladega
Alex Bowman3 days ago

Will Start 20th At Talladega
Félix Bautista3 days ago

Felix Bautista To Undergo Tommy John Surgery
Philipp Kurashev3 days ago

Sits Out Blackhawks Morning Skate Saturday
Alex Killorn3 days ago

Out 4-6 Weeks With Broken Finger
Bobby Witt Jr.3 days ago

Joins Rarefied Air With Homer In Win
Jake Guentzel3 days ago

Returns To Practice
Cale Makar3 days ago

Joins Avalanche Practice In Regular Jersey
Nico Hoerner3 days ago

Forced From Friday's Game
Jorge Polanco3 days ago

Day-To-Day With Sore Ankle
Jon Gray3 days ago

Rangers Lose Jon Gray To Forearm Tightness