06-12-2009, 03:32 AM
HOF CLASS OF '12
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Re: 2009 Draft Info
Lowery taken in 27th round by Cincinnati Reds
by Michael Gilliland
Derrick Lowery has reinvented himself on the diamond since his days at Scotland High School.
There, the 2006 North Carolina 4-A state championship series Most Valuable Player was a dominant pitcher whose stuff only got better when the pressure rose.
Lowery went from baffling batters to owning pitchers in his two years at Young Harris Junior College. Now, he may have the chance to do it at the professional level, as the Cincinnati Reds took Lowery in the 27th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Lowery, who throws and bats left-handed, and who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, was the 719th overall pick of the draft. Many in this area felt he would be drafted out of high school in 2006, and Lowery was glad to finally hear his name called by a Major League team.
"It felt good," Lowery said. "It was just a relief, to finally have it happen."
Lowery put up monster offensive numbers while playing first base at Young Harris in 2009. He hit .431 (75-for-174) with 17 homers, 12 doubles, 87 RBIs, a .538 on-base percentage and an .828 slugging percentage in 51 games. Lowery also scored 64 runs, walked 36 times and was hit by a pitch on 10 occasions.
Aside from his season at Young Harris, it was a workout in front of scouts from the Cincinnati Reds just before the draft that really helped Lowery.
"I just had a good day there," said Lowery, who said he hit four or five home runs during batting practice at the Reds workout. "Everything went well, and I just had a really good day."
Lowery's former Scotland teammate, Nick Liles, was with him at the Cincinnati workout. Lowery was in Liles' living room, watching the draft with Nick and his father Steve when the Reds selected him.
Liles was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round on Wednesday. He was conducting a telephone interview with The Laurinburg Exchange at the time Lowery's name was called out.
"This is great for both of us," said Liles. "Derrick and I went to Cincinnati together... This is exciting."
Lowery said the Reds like him as a first baseman, but that he could be used elsewhere.
"They think that's what they want to use me as, a first baseman," said Lowery. "They did say that if that doesn't work out, they might push me back to the mound."
Lowery also has options. He has a scholarship from Western Carolina University on the table, so if the money or opportunity with the Reds is not right, he can always go to WCU, where he could do just as Liles has done by playing in the Catamount program and improving his draft stock.
"I'll probably talk to some coaches and see what advice they have to give," said Lowery. "It will mainly depend on what happens when Cincinnati offers.
"If what they offer me isn't too good, I'll be going to Western Carolina."