Who is Jordan Lawlar?

July 11th, 2021

Jordan Lawlar, the No. 3 prospect entering the 2021 MLB Draft, was picked sixth overall by the D-backs on Draft day. A Vanderbilt commit from Jesuit Prep High School in Texas, Lawlar has starred on the showcase circuit and was just named Texas' Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. Here's what you need to know about the 18-year-old shortstop.

FAST FACTS
Primary position: SS
Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 190 lbs.
Bats/throws: Right/right
Birthdate: July 17, 2002 (Age 18 on Draft day)
High school: Jesuit Prep (Texas)
Hometown: Irving, Texas
College commitment: Vanderbilt

He bookended his HS career with home runs

Lawlar homered on the first day of his varsity baseball career … and his last.

The first homer came on Jesuit's opening day in 2019. Lawlar's varsity career with Jesuit Prep had been delayed until he was a sophomore because he lived outside the school's attendance zone, so he was stuck playing JV at first. But once it finally began (Lawlar had already committed to Vanderbilt by that time), it began with a bang.

That day, Lawlar went deep off Logan Kohler (now an infielder at Oklahoma), a game-tying home run in the seventh inning with Kohler two outs away from a shutout.

And in his last game for Jesuit, a playoff loss this May, Lawlar brought it full circle, homering one last time.

He's following Josh Bell

Lawlar wouldn't be the first star hitter from Jesuit Prep to make the Major Leagues. Nationals slugger Josh Bell is a Jesuit alum, too -- that's where the Pirates drafted him from in the second round in 2011.

Lawlar has met with Bell more than once, and the two have talked about hitting, the mental side of baseball and life in general.

"It shifted away from baseball and we just talked about life and the kind of men we want to be," Lawlar told The Athletic's Jamey Newberg.

Bell even started sharing audiobooks with Lawlar -- but not baseball books -- like Paulo Coelho’s "The Alchemist," Tim Ferriss' "Tools of Titans," and Christian D. Larson's "The Optimist Creed." But those books helped influence Lawlar's approach to baseball, from his pre-at-bat routine to the way he tries to block out all the noise around him when he steps to the plate.

And he's learning from Vernon Wells

Bell isn't the only Major League influence on Lawlar. Three-time All-Star Vernon Wells, who played 15 seasons in the big leagues, has been one of Lawlar's advisers since last year.

And Wells couldn't sing Lawlar's praises more highly.

"There are a few people that I played with that he reminds me of as a person," Wells told the Detroit Free Press' Jeff Seidel. "One is Mike Trout, who always has a smile on his face and enjoys being around his teammates, enjoys the game. And I think the other is Derek Jeter -- just the presence that he has."

He played for Clayton Kershaw's old travel team

Lawlar played for the Dallas Tigers, a youth player development team that plays in tournaments and showcases around the country, starting from when he was nine years old.

A lot of star baseball players are Tigers alumni. The biggest of all is Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The three-time Cy Young Award winner was in the program's graduating class of 2006.

Other notable Dallas Tigers? Yankees pitcher and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (class of 2004) and White Sox flamethrower Michael Kopech (class of 2014).

He's drawing comparisons to Bobby Witt Jr. … and Derek Jeter

When it comes to player comps for Lawlar, the most natural is Bobby Witt Jr., the No. 2 overall Draft pick by the Royals in 2019 and the current No. 7 prospect in baseball.

Lawlar and Witt are both five-tool shortstop prospects who came from Dallas-area high schools. And according to MLB Pipeline's scouting report, Lawlar is an even more polished hitter than Witt was coming out of high school.

But there are other, even loftier comparisons for Lawlar. MLB.com prospect expert Jonathan Mayo recently surveyed scouts and executives about who Lawlar reminded them of. The results?

"Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, even 2019 Texas high school shortstop draftee Bobby Witt Jr., all came up, but the most complimentary comp was to Derek Jeter, not just with his actions, but with how he carries himself and his demeanor," Mayo reported.

One American League scouting director told Mayo of Lawlar: "Don't call me crazy, but he's a poor man's Jeter. Not sure he will hit enough to be Jeter, but the kid has that kind of presence to him when you meet him. I was extremely impressed."

And he draws Hall of Fame scouts

Major League scouts have been showing up to watch Lawlar since he was on Jesuit's JV team. And some of those teams' representatives would know a star shortstop when they see one.

The Tigers? They sent Hall of Fame shortstop Alan Trammell (who also scouted Detroit's No. 1 overall Draft pick and current No. 3 prospect in MLB, Spencer Torkelson).

The Rangers? They sent seven-time All-Star shortstop Michael Young, who's in the team's Hall of Fame.

He has superstar shortstop role models … and one other superstar role model

Jeter and Correa aren't just players others are comparing Lawlar to. They're the players Lawlar himself looks up to the most as a shortstop.

With Jeter, Lawlar told Newberg, it's "the way he carried himself … I've never heard anything bad said about him, and obviously what he did on the field speaks for itself."

With Correa, it's about the finer points of hitting: "his hitting tool: nice and easy, picks his foot up, hands separate a little bit, just throws his hands at it, and it goes."

Is Lawlar on the right track to play like his on-field role models? Let's go back to Wells one more time. He said about Lawlar: "He’s a perfect mix of those."

But the biggest influence on Lawlar of all? That would be his mom, Hope, who raised him as a single parent.