Mets fans are not likely to recognize Jed Lowrie as a household name in baseball. Among his peers, though, it’s a different story. Another smart move…
The Mets will benefit in many ways with Jed Lowrie as a member of their team in 2019. But first, let’s get the numbers out of the way. Lowrie played for the Oakland A’s last season and was instrumental in leading them to a whisker of ousting the Yankees in the Wild Card Shootout game.
Appearing in 157 games for the A’s, Jed Lowrie hit 23 home runs and drove in a career-high 99 runs. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Lowrie had a .353 OBP and a .801 OPS last year. He finished eighth in the AL in RBI and walks and ninth with a .324 (47-145) batting average with runners in scoring position. Among switch-hitters, he is tied for third in extra-base hits (127) and third in OPS (.804) over the last two years (with a minimum 1,300 plate appearances). He ranks 14th among all infielders in WAR (8.5) since 2017 according to Fangraphs and is one of five infielders with a 4.0 WAR and at least 153 games in each of the last two seasons (Francisco Lindor, Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman and Paul Goldschmidt) according to Baseball-Reference.
Okay? That should be enough to convince any Mets fan this is a guy who can rake and field his position.
But the real strength behind Van Wagenen’s signing of Lowrie is with the intangibles he brings to the Mets. That is, the attributes you don’t see in the numbers, the kind that percolates only in the clubhouse, or merely the way he goes about his business as a professional ballplayer.
Some of this became visible in the press conference when Lowrie was introduced. Kristie Ackert, who attended for the New York Daily News, quotes Lowrie’s reasons for joining the Mets, despite being pursued by the A’s and several other teams:
And so it goes with the new regime at Citi Field. To accent the point, when was the last time a player came to the Mets because he wants to be here? I can’t think of one. Add to that, it’s apparent Lowrie sees something brewing that is exciting, and more than just another stop on the way to making a few bucks.
It’s early, but it’s possible the Mets have found a clubhouse leader to replace the formally departed, David Wright, in Jeb Lowrie (see the column from yesterday). At 34, Lowrie has the experience of eleven seasons in the big leagues with three different teams before the Mets and no matter where he’s been, there’s never been a negative word attached to his name.
As hinted at before, Jed Lowrie is not going to make or break the Mets season in 2019. But he is a significant piece in the puzzle Van Wagenen, as Lowrie said, is “aggressively” piecing together. Lowrie adds without subtracting from the team.
That’s the way you do it. One piece at a time…