Updating former Pirates in the minors

With their college careers behind them, Luke Lowery, David Lucroy and Reid Love are all trying their hands at professional ball, seeing playing time in the minor leagues.

The three East Carolina baseball players selected in the 2015 MLB Draft — Luke Lowery, David Lucroy and Reid Love — have all enjoyed playing time in the minor leagues since signing pro contracts following their college careers.

Lowery and Lucroy, both of which are would-be seniors, have been assigned to Rookie League teams in their respective organizations.

Lucroy, who was selected in the 20th round by the Milwaukee Brewers, the same team that his brother Jonathan plays for, is currently suiting up for the AZL Brewers of the Arizona League.

He has seen time out of the AZL Brewers’ bullpen, appearing in six games and pitching 14 innings. He has a 2-1 record and sports a 3.21 average. However, command control issues appear to have followed Lucroy into the minors as his five walks in that amount of time serve as a cause for concern.

Lucroy does have a save, though, perhaps showing some trust between the pitcher and his managers. His 12 strikeouts are proof of the impressive stuff that has been there since high school when the Brewers initially drafted him.

Love remains perhaps the most interesting of the drafted trio. The 23-year-old Love enjoyed an impressive collegiate career with the Pirates and was a key cog in their Regional run a season ago. It was uncertain just how the Orioles, who selected him in the 10th round, were intending to use him. His experience as a two-way player gave him flexibility but Baltimore seems content with tapping his potential on the mound.

Love pitched just two innings for the GCL Orioles in the Golf Coast Rookie League before being promoted to the Aberdeen IronBirds of the New York Penn-League, the Orioles’ Class A Short Season affiliate.

Love has been seldom used with the IronBirds, appearing in just three innings and sporting a 6.00 ERA. The pitcher will have to adjust quickly as his long college career puts him behind the curve.

The only Pirate position player selected in the draft was the utility player Lowery. He spent his ECU career all around the diamond, playing catcher, first base and the outfield while also seeing time at the DH spot. He seems to be in the same routine with the Missoula Osprey — Arizona’s Pioneer Rookie League affiliate.

Through 15 starts Lowery has spent seven at catcher and eight at first base. He’s also seen time in nine additional games giving him a small sample size of at-bats. However, what he has shown in his small amount of time has been impressive.

Lowery has only had 75 at-bats but has a decent slash line (.307/.404/.573) in addition to his six home runs and 18 RBI. But, much like Lucroy, Lowery has struggled with the same part of his game in the minors as college.

While the 6-foot-2 slugger has 11 walks so far, his 22 strikeouts serve as a remainder that Lowery can be figured out by opposing pitchers and struggles with his discipline.

The Pirates will have the adjust to life without the three players but Lowery, Lucroy and Love appear to be transitioning well into the minors so far.


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