Something to prove.

Nate Lowe has a chip on his shoulder. He is playing it off, which bodes well for what kind of a player he will be. Lesser players would rant and rave and cry about such a thing.

Nate Lowe was left off the Tampa Bay playoff roster. In so many words, his team told him they didn’t need him. We got this far, thanks, we can take it from here without you.

It was the second year in a row that happened. Once might be understandable. Twice, that’s a proverbial slap in the face. Nothing says you’re not the future of the franchise like being left at home while the big boys go play the important games.

But it happens. Remember 2010? The Rangers had a starting pitcher named Matt Harrison. He was pretty good. They left him off the playoff roster.

The next two seasons he went 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA then 18-11, 3.29, making the All-Star team that second year, and finishing eighth in Cy Young voting.

Things like that can motivate a player. Reflecting on the disappointment of being left off the roster, Lowe said, “Sitting up there and watching was not all that fun personally.”

When you are a major league baseball player, it’s hard to relegated to being a major league baseball watcher.

In his two partial seasons with the Rays, Lowe played in 71 games, hit .252, had an on-base percentage of .322, and an OPS+ of 107. While those numbers will not set the world on fire, he joins the Rangers as the top offensive player in their lineup. And he will only get better as he gets at-bats under his belt.

His new team needs him badly. They don’t have a first baseman or a third baseman. He will be given every chance to succeed, to grow, and to be one of the offensive pillars of this team for the next few years. He’s not a free agent until 2025.

It can be said with one hundred percent certainty that, barring injury, the Texas Rangers will not leave Nate Lowe of their playoff roster in 2021.