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Rays' Arizona Fall League overview

Lowe focusing on approach, handling upper-level pitching
MLB.com @wboor

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brandon Lowe watched his stock rise this year as he was one of the best hitters in the Florida State League for the bulk of the season.

The Rays' No. 13 prospect hit .311 over 90 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte. However, after a late-season promotion to Double-A Montgomery, Lowe watched his average dip as he hit just .253 over 24 games.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brandon Lowe watched his stock rise this year as he was one of the best hitters in the Florida State League for the bulk of the season.

The Rays' No. 13 prospect hit .311 over 90 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte. However, after a late-season promotion to Double-A Montgomery, Lowe watched his average dip as he hit just .253 over 24 games.

Arizona Fall League roster & stats

"It was just pitchers being able to locate everything," Lowe said of the difference between Class A Advanced and Double-A. "In high A, they know how to locate their fastball and throw their offspeed in there. But once I got to Double-A, they're throwing first pitch changeups for strikes, curveballs for strikes. They knew how to locate everything."

Lowe will get some more reps against advanced pitching prospects in the Arizona Fall League as he looks to get back on track with his approach. Usually a player with good strike-zone discipline, Lowe saw his approach waiver a bit once he was promoted.

After striking out in 17.7 percent of his at-bats and walking in 12.8 percent of his at-bats with Charlotte, Lowe's numbers went to 25.7 percent and two percent with Montgomery.

Rays Top 30 Prospects

"Strike-zone discipline is one of the things I pride myself on because I know what I can hit and I know what I can't," Lowe said. "Usually it's within that little box. If I'm not hitting it well, I kind of take a step back, [remind myself to] stay within my means and get back to what I'm doing."

Rays hitters in the AFL

Kevin Padlo, 3B (TB No. 28) -- Padlo missed two months with a broken hamate and played in just 69 games this season, hitting .215/.321/.380 with the Rookie-level GCL Rays and Class A Advanced Charlotte. While he only hit six homers this season -- likely because of lack of playing time -- Padlo does have some power and went deep 16 times in 2016.
Video: Kevin Padlo talks about his Fall League experience
Brett Sullivan, C -- Sullivan, a 17th-round pick (No. 508 overall) from the 2015 Draft, posted career-bests in several offensive categories this season. The 23-year-old batted .294/.324/.433 over 107 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.

Rays pitchers in the AFL

Spencer Jones, RHP -- Jones, 23, threw well in his first full season, posting a 2.25 ERA over 36 games with Class A Bowling Green and Class A Advanced Charlotte. A 10th-round pick (No. 300 overall) in 2016, he converted five of six save opportunities and struck out 74 in 68 innings.

Benton Moss, RHP -- Moss missed the bulk of two months on the disabled list before finishing up the season with Double-A Montgomery. In his first taste of the Double-A level, Moss posted a 3.21 ERA over 15 games (14 starts) while striking out 66 and walking 19 in 81 1/3 innings.

Roel Ramirez, RHP -- The 22-year-old struggled to throw strikes in 2017.Pitching at the Class A Advanced level for the first time, he walked 3.38 batters per nine innings and posted a 5.52 ERA in 26 appearances (six starts).

Burch Smith, RHP -- Smith, like so many others, will be looking to make up some innings in Arizona after spending a large portion of the season on the DL. Not only did he miss roughly three months with injury this season, but Smith also missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old, who made his Major League debut with the Padres in 2013, was back on the mound this year and went 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) across a trio of levels.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

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