Lawlar makes a bid for the cycle in return to Triple-A

June 12th, 2024

came up Aces in his return to Triple-A.

With his rehab assignment complete following a seven-game stint in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League, MLB's No. 8 prospect picked up where he left off with Reno last year prior to his Major League debut.

Lawlar homered, doubled and drove in three runs while flirting with a cycle for the Aces, who fell to the visiting River Cats in a 14-12 slugfest on Tuesday night at Greater Nevada Field. It was Lawlar's first action game with Reno since last Sept. 5, two days before his promotion to the Majors, where he remained through the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

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The 21-year-old hit the ground running for the Aces, hustling for a double in the opening inning and then leaving the yard in the fifth off River Cats starter and Giants No. 22 prospect Kai-Wei Teng. The no-doubter easily cleared the 40-foot high wall in left field and marked Lawlar's first long ball since he homered twice for Reno in his last game before his Major League debut.

A two-run single up the middle in the seventh set Lawlar up for a chance to complete the cycle, but he went down swinging in the ninth following a nine-pitch at-bat.

Regarded as one of baseball's most exciting young shortstops since his selection as the sixth overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Lawlar reached the Majors less than two months after his 21st birthday ... and it was not an undeserved promotion. Pipeline's top-ranked shortstop prospect tore through Double-A and Triple-A in 2023, posting an .874 OPS and reaching the 20-homer mark for the first time, while adding 36 stolen bases in 105 games with Amarillo and Reno.

Lawlar collected a hit in his Major League debut on Sept. 7, but he struggled during his introduction to The Show. Despite that, he remained on Arizona's roster as the club snuck into the playoffs as the third NL Wild Card before embarking on a run that culminated in the franchise's second World Series appearance and first since 2001.

“He’s a very exciting player for us and he’s given us depth," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said during Lawlar's rehab. "He’s going to go out and perform, and when he starts to play at the level that we all expect him to, he's going to find himself back here in the big leagues. But getting healthy is the most important thing and we'll get him back up to Reno as soon as possible.”

An uneven spring prompted the club to have Lawlar open 2024 in Triple-A, but he ruptured the UCL tendon in his right thumb on March 27 -- one day before Opening Night -- and underwent surgery that sidelined him for two months.

The Texas native returned to action in the ACL on May 29 and batted .320 with eight RBIs, five stolen bases and an .878 OPS in 25 at-bats during his rehab assignment.