Shortstops Lawlar, Lee provide glimpse into future

July 20th, 2023

The stars were big and bright in Amarillo, Texas, as the Double-A Sod Poodles and Wind Surge faced off Wednesday in a game with a combined seven Top 30 prospects from the D-backs and Twins organizations, including each club's top-ranked player.

Arizona's No. 1 prospect and Minnesota's top-ranked recorded three hits apiece on the night. While Lee recorded his third home run in the past four games for Wichita, Lawlar impressed on both sides of the ball en route to Amarillo's 7-5 win at HODGETOWN.

Lee's night started off with a leadoff double -- his Texas League-leading 30th two-bagger -- against right-hander Chad Patrick. In the third inning, MLB's No. 18 prospect sent the first pitch he saw from Patrick over the fence in right field for his 10th homer of the season.

In the fifth, Lee lined a single to center off the righty. The eighth overall pick in the 2022 Draft worked a walk in the seventh and got aboard on a throwing error by third baseman Ivan Melendez (ARI No. 7) in the ninth to finish up having reached base in all five of his plate appearances. He finished up 3-for-4 with three runs scored.

Meanwhile, Lawlar was having a solid night as well on the other side of the diamond. MLB's No. 5 prospect swatted his 15th double to the warning track in straight-away center off righty Chad Donato.

Some of Lawlar's efforts didn't show up in the box score, though. The shortstop showed off his jumping ability in the second as David Bañuelos lined the ball toward left. Instead of letting it drop in, Lawlar went vertical and hauled it in. In the sixth, the 2021 Draft's sixth overall pick slid to scoop up a ground ball hit by Aaron Sabato. Lawlar rolled to center himself, then scrambled to his feet to be able to throw out Sabato at first.

Lawlar's second hit of the night came in the seventh, when he fought off a high pitch by righty Taylor Floyd that dribbled across the mound and hit second baseman Yunior Severino in the foot.

The Texas native grounded another double down the third-base line and into the left-field corner in the eighth against right Hunter McMahon. He finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

Lawlar's team won this particular battle, but a look at the league leaderboard shows Lee ahead in runs -- tied for fourth with 58 to Lawlar's eighth-place 56.

It's this kind of back-and-forth between the models of consistency that feels like a harbinger of things to come.