D-Backs To Promote Jordan Lawlar

The Diamondbacks are calling up top infield prospect Jordan Lawlar, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). They’ll presumably make the move official tomorrow in advance of a pivotal four-game series against the Cubs.

Lawlar seems likely to take over as the primary third baseman. Piecoro wrote this afternoon that the Snakes were considering him as an option at the hot corner. Lawlar made his first professional start there with Triple-A Reno last night. That’s obviously a very limited look, but teams generally feel comfortable shortstops to other infield positions.

A Dallas native, Lawlar was regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2021 draft class coming out of high school. He somewhat surprisingly lasted until the sixth pick, though Arizona went above slot with the third-highest signing bonus to add him to the system.

Lawlar’s draft season was cut short by an injury to his left throwing shoulder, which required surgery. He didn’t show any signs of rust the following year, though. The right-handed hitter put together a .303/.401/.509 batting line in his first full professional season. He reached Double-A Amarillo late last year, an impressive achievement for a player who had just turned 20 years old.

That huge showing cemented Lawlar’s status as one of the sport’s most talented prospects. Arizona assigned him back to Amarillo to begin the 2023 campaign. He started relatively slowly but has caught fire since the weather warmed up. Lawlar has an OPS north of .900 in the minors for each month since June. He hit .263/.366/.474 in 410 Double-A plate appearances to earn a bump to Reno in mid-August. Lawlar has only appeared in 16 games there, mashing at a .358/.438/.612 clip.

While he’s had the benefit of playing in favorable hitting environments, Lawlar’s cumulative .278/.378/.496 line on the year is strong. He’s walking at a quality 11.4% clip against a decent 20.6% strikeout rate. He has popped 20 homers, 23 doubles and four triples and gone 36-41 in stolen base attempts.

Baseball America recently slotted Lawlar as the sport’s #9 overall prospect, while Kiley McDaniel of ESPN placed him 25th. As his numbers suggest, he’s generally viewed as a well-rounded player with solid tools across the board. McDaniel suggests that a lack of a standout carrying tool could keep Lawlar more as a quality regular than a true star. Even if Lawlar doesn’t have quite the same upside as some top prospects, most evaluators seem confident in him being a productive everyday player at the major league level.

More to come.

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