HR power, stellar glove work on display for Lawlar at Double-A

April 16th, 2023

A special night in Double-A Amarillo got a little added juice thanks to the talents of Jordan Lawlar.

Baseball's No. 9 prospect homered, made a slick defensive play and swiped his fourth base of the year to lead the Sod Poodles, er, Calf Fries, to a 5-3 win over the visiting Corpus Christi Hooks at Hodgetown on Saturday night.

Was it luck? Was it just talent? Or did the first of six Amarillo alternate identity nights add a little extra zip to Lawlar's step? Whatever the reason, the 20-year-old continues to look comfortable toiling in the Texas League, despite being nearly five years younger than the average player.

Lawlar, who has reached safely in all eight Sod Poodles' games while hitting safely in seven of them, evened the score with an opposite-field poke in the fourth inning, just over the 325-foot marker in right field. It was the Texas native's second roundtripper and first since Opening Night.

It was only fitting that the first official Calf Fries homer came courtesy of the top-ranked D-backs prospect.

But Lawlar was just getting started. With offense checked off, he switched to defense.

With one out in the fifth, Corpus Christi's J.C. Correa chopped a ground ball up the middle. Lawlar ranged far to his left from the shortstop position and laid out to snag the grounder, hopped to his feet and used his 55-grade arm to get the out at first.

Selected sixth overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has sped through Arizona's system after making his full-season debut last year. Lawlar appeared in two games with the D-backs' Rookie-level Arizona Complex League team after being drafted and opened 2022 with Single-A Visalia.

The California League didn't offer much in the way of a challenge, so after slashing .351/.447/.603 in 44 games, he was promoted to High-A Hillsboro where he continued to excel. Lawlar finished the year in Amarillo, putting together a .303/.401/.509 slash line, 41 extra-base hits, 98 runs and 39 stolen bases in 100 games.

A fractured left scapula suffered during the Arizona Fall League officially put an end to his 2022, but he was fully healthy going into Spring Training where he appeared in 10 Cactus League contests.

Lawlar has a .969 OPS in his first eight games.