‘An Easy Pupil With Good Study Skills’ | Arizona D-Backs Prospect Jordan Lawlar Reminds Brass Of Derek Jeter

‘An Easy Pupil With Good Study Skills’ | Arizona D-Backs Prospect Jordan Lawlar Reminds Brass Of Derek Jeter

The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently in the rebuilding phase, as they look to continue to add quality pieces to their roster, while developing the ones they already have. One of those pieces is shortstop Jordan Lawlar who was taken sixth overall in the 2021 MLB Draft. The rangy-but-compact prospect stands six-foot-two with a short, compact, powerful swing.

 

“I’m Ready To Go Out Here And Show…” | Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Jordan Lawlar Is A Bro Ballin’

 

His approach at the plate is reminiscent of baseball Hall of Famer and former New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. Lawlar’s athleticism stands out, but it’s his aptitude and approach that had Diamondbacks farm system director Josh Barfield already calling the young Lawlar the best base stealer in the D-Backs organization.

 

Lawlar is on the fast track and he’s only 20 years old. He’s considered one of the most talented prospects in all of baseball. He ranks as Arizona’s No.2 prospect, and MLB Pipeline’s No.11 ranked prospect.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks Have Talented Young Nucleus Brewing 

‘King’ Jordan Lawlar, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas and Druw Jones give the D-Backs a very talented nucleus of players for their future.

 

 

Lawlar Could Get Call Up This Season

Lawlar was the 2021 Gatorade Texas High School Player of the Year, and he’s already made it to the Double-A ranks in two short seasons. Armed with a compact right-handed swing, and the innate ability to recognize pitches, Lawlar is able to produce a solid average and high walk rates. Same as Jeter did when he first arrived back in 1996, winning Rookie of the Year honors.

 

Some of Lawlar’s other strengths give off strong “Jeter” vibes; his batting eye, mannerism, approach and potential to be great, and the relentless work he’s put into reaching baseball God-like status before ever stepping on an MLB field. His fielding is super solid at shortstop, and he understands angles and ball pursuit. Lawlar has struggled with his footwork at times, committing 29 errors in 87 games last season, which amounts to one every three games, but his bat more than makes up for that.

Diamondbacks quality control coordinator recently told “The Athletic,” this about his star pupil.

 

“He’s so advanced offensively. It’s crazy.”

 

 

 

 Lawlar Working To Get Defense Up To Pat

In an effort to fix the error issue, Lawlar was in Arizona in mid-January working with infield coach Tony Perezchica and former Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed. It was all about the fundamentals with them, and Lawlar definitely bought in. Perezchica says it’s about doing the basic stuff first and the rest will take care of itself.

 

“It’s just the basics for him,” Perezchica says. “But for a player with Lawlar’s physical gifts, “the basics are going to be huge.”

 

As for Lawlar, he wants to be the best and he’s going to continue to strive just for that.

 

“I want to be the best player,” Lawlar said. “And you can’t be the best player if you’re making errors and you’re not playing elite defense.”

 

Once Lawlar gets better on defense, the call-up will happen in a matter of time, and it’s highly plausible it happens in 2023.

“He Wants Me To Be Consistent, To Be Defensively Great Like He Was” | Cardinals Prospect Masyn Winn On Former Cards Great Jose Oquendo’s Expectations For Him

“He Wants Me To Be Consistent, To Be Defensively Great Like He Was” | Cardinals Prospect Masyn Winn On Former Cards Great Jose Oquendo’s Expectations For Him

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best run franchises in all of baseball. Routinely competing for championships and perennial playoff contenders, the Cardinals have also been great at drafting and building their farm system, which has been a key component in keeping them relevant contenders year-in-and-year-out.

In fact, the Cardinals were very close to trading for Nationals superstar Juan Soto earlier this month but instead decided to trust in their young, talented prospects. One of those pieces of the future is shortstop Masyn Winn. The dynamic Winn is blessed with elite range and a cannon for an arm. Winn is a two-way prospect who’s flashed his 100.5 MPH pitching ability as well.

 

 

But Winn knows he’ll likely make his money playing shortstop when he is called up to the majors. Winn recently talked about former Cardinals defensive stalwart, Jose Oquendo who handled a myriad of positions in the infield for “Da Lou” during his 1190-game career with the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals (1983-1995). He’s played every position on the field at least once in his career. Oquendo was a member of the Cards’ two most recent World Series championship teams (2006 and 2011) as a coach. He now serves as the minor league infield coordinator for the Cards.

He works with Winn often and wants to see the young talent excel at what he does. In an interview last month, Winn talked about working with Oquendo and how Oquendo pushes his players to work at getting better defensively.

 “You can just tell that everything he’s trying to teach me, everything he’s trying to get me to do, you go back and it’s all there in the videos of him doing it, like speaking the same language. He wants me — well, it’s not that he wants me to be like him. But he wants me to be consistent. He wants me to be defensively great like he was.”

 Winn is currently playing for Class AA- Springfield, after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft.

  

  

Winn’s Two-Way Ability Had Teams High On Him: But Some Wanting A Pitcher, Others An Infielder

With Winn’s two-way skillset resembling current Angels superstar and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani’s, teams seem to be split on what position they project Winn manning at the MLB level. Winn was named the starting shortstop for the NL in last month’s Futures Game. That was an eye opener and showed Winn why he’s in the position he’s in. 

 “I love pitching, but I’m here for a reason, and that’s because I’m playing pretty well at shortstop,” Winn acknowledged. “I’m falling in love with hitting and, especially, defense. Working with Oquendo has given me a lot of pride in working on defense. I’m trying to be good out there. And it’s a lot of fun thinking about the next play. I want to make a great play. I don’t want to be just waiting there.”

 

 

Winn Hopes To Follow The Great Ozzie Smith

When you think of Cardinals shortstops the first and last name which comes to mind is “The Wizard of Oz,” aka Ozzie Smith, who made the position look easy, even though it’s one of the most physically demanding on the diamond. Smith, a 15-time All-Star, and 13-time Gold Glove Award winner is in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of what he did with his web. His unreal, wizard-like defense. The guy was downright amazing. Winn’s aspirations to be Iike Ozzie and Oquendo can only lead to success for the 20-year-old. 

 In fact, the Cardinals like his development so much he’s slated to be called up in early 2024. 

With Winn moving up the ranks and Jordan Walker (Cardinals No.1 ranked prospect and the No.6 ranked prospect overall according to MLB Pipeline) possibly getting the call-up soon, the Cards have MLBbro talent on deck. The Cards are in good shape but still need consistent production around Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. That means Winn could see a call-up in late 2023, instead of 2024.

Meet the Hottest Minor League MLBbro In the Business Right Now…Blake Perkins 

Meet the Hottest Minor League MLBbro In the Business Right Now…Blake Perkins 

For decades the New York Yankees, for the most part, ignored their farm system, choosing instead to obtain superstars on the free agent market. Yes, Derek Jeter, the most famous name from their farm system is an all-time great. And the players that joined him to form the core of their championship dynasty of the 90s; Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, and the incomparable Mariano Rivera, were all homegrown talents as is Aaron Judge.

But the narrative surrounding the Yankees, who have never hesitated to pay big bucks for a superstar free agent, is that the organization often acquires top level free agent stars over bringing up their own young talent. Those moves usually dominate the New York baseball headlines.  

MLBbro Blake Perkins might be the Yankees’ next superstar to blossom out of their farm system.

According to Pinstripe Alley, “The Nationals used their second-round pick in 2015 on him out of high school and were able to sign him away from a commitment to Arizona State University. Among his best tools at the time was his plus running ability that allowed him to cover a lot of ground in center field.

Perkins’s defense and tools continued to draw strong reviews, but his offensive game was struggling to catch up. He posted a 115 wRC+ in 2017 while playing at the Low-A level, but that proved to be his best offensive performance in the Nationals system.

He was then traded to the Royals as part of the deal for reliever Kelvin Herrera in June of 2018. After a strong offensive start with the Royals’ High-A team in 2018 and again in 2019, Perkins struggled when promoted to Double-A where he finished the 2019 season and played again in 2021.”

Blake Perkins Explodes On The Scene

Then he signed with the Yankees as a minor league free agent. Right now, he’s playing for Double-A Somerset and has exploded on the scene by winning MiLB Eastern League Player of the week. 

Perkins tore it up at the plate last week with a batting average of .473 (9-19) with an on base percentage of .524, a slugging percentage of 1.326 and a on base percentage of 1.850. Out of the nine hits this MLBbro collected, seven went for extra base hits including four home runs over a three game period against the Hartford Yard Goats. 

First there was the two home run game on April 23rd… 

Then this home run that sealed his award-winning week and gained the attention of baseball fans. 

This offensive explosion shot Blake Perkins to the top of the Eastern League with 37 total bases, a .902 slugging percentage, a 1.324 on base percentage while ranking near the top in all other offensive categories. His slugging percentage not only leads the Eastern League, but all Yankees minor leaguers by 319 points. 

After being known as a speedster on the bases, swiping 31, 29 and 22 in the 2017-19 season and a utility player in the outfield, his switch hitting performance at the plate has caught up with his other talents.

After never hitting higher than .255 in a season, Perkins has taken a huge step in his first 12 games at Somerset. He has 11 extra base hits which is close to matching the 16 he had in 72 games in 2021. 

The New York Yankees currently have the steal of the minors if this MLBbro continues to develop as a power-hitting switch hitter with the speed to impact the offense and defense shown in 2022. Look for Blake Perkins to be with the Yankees Triple A farm team real soon.

“He’s One The Best, If Not The Best Hitter I’ve Ever Scouted In Our Area | Marlins 2021 First Round Pick SS Kahlil Watson Is The Goods

“He’s One The Best, If Not The Best Hitter I’ve Ever Scouted In Our Area | Marlins 2021 First Round Pick SS Kahlil Watson Is The Goods

For Miami Marlins shortstop Kahlil Watson, playing baseball is something the sweet-hitting, solid-fielding shortstop was born to do. The 16th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, is what baseball connoisseurs consider a five-tool prospect. One who combines that rare blend of speed, throwing, fielding, hitting for average and hitting with power.

 

 

Watson has all of that in his arsenal. He’s sort of reminiscent of his former boss and a guy who was influential in drafting Watson, Hall of Famer and New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. If there’s one thing “DJ2” knows it’s playing shortstop and “manning the hole.” He did it at an extremely high-level for 20 years. So drafting Watson was a no-brainer, considering many believed the uber-athletic Watson would go higher.

 

 

Watson is the Marlins top-ranked prospect, and he’s showing why in April. At just 18-years-old, he’s doing things unimaginable for most, but expected for a player of his talent. Watson didn’t disappoint in a brief minor-league season (9 games) last summer, hitting .394 (13-33) with three doubles, two triples, five RBIs, 13 runs scored, and four stolen bases.

Watson Led NC State To CWS Semis In 2021: COVID-19 Stole Their Moment

Watson, who committed to NC State as a high school junior, led the Wolfpack to the semifinals of the College World Series in 2021, only to have to bow out after a COVID-19 outbreak ravaged the team.

Head coach Elliott Avent knew he was getting a special talent that would play in the majors. Avent didn’t know how long he’d have the talented Watson in the heart of his lineup and infield.

“We knew it would be difficult to keep him away from Major League Baseball,” Avent recalls. 

When the Marlins took Watson in the 2021 draft, and showed him the money ($4.5 million), it became a reality. This was bound to happen from the moment NC State recruited Wilson from nearby Wake Forest High, also located on the outskirts of Raleigh, NC. 

Wolfpack Coach Knew From His First Scout Of Watson 

Assistant HC, Chris Hart was amazed by Watson’s skillset from the onset of scouting him. Hart likened him to former Los Angeles Dodgers, and current Texas Rangers star Corey Seagar who won the NLCS and World Series MVP in 2020. In and around the Carolinas, Seagar is considered the gold-standard of infield play. That’s high praise for the young “KW,” whom Hart believes measures up.

“He’s one of the — if not the best — hitter I’ve ever scouted in our area,” Hart insists. “Corey Seagar (a Charlotte native) jumps off the page over the last 15 years, but Kahlil is right in that range.”

It’s no doubt Watson is the “shortstop of the future” down in South Beach. He and second baseman Jazz Chisholm, who started 121 games last season while batting .250 with 18 homers and 23 stolen bases, are set to form a great infield duo for years to come.

It’s Chisholm’s spunk and flare that make him special. He and Watson look to be two picks. Jeter may have gotten correct during the Marlins rebuild, leaving the organization with young, strong cornerstone pieces — MLBbro infielders — with speed, power, charisma and supreme athleticism to build a winner around. 

“I’m Ready To Go Out Here And Show…” | Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Jordan Lawlar Is A Bro Ballin’

“I’m Ready To Go Out Here And Show…” | Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Jordan Lawlar Is A Bro Ballin’

When the Arizona Diamondbacks made Jordan Lawlar the No.6 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, they did so with the belief he’d be their shortstop of the future.

In his rookie season, the dynamic Lawlar has shown exactly why he was highly sought after coming out of Dallas Jesuit High School. In eight games this season with the Visalia Rawhide, an affiliate of the D-Backs since 2007, Lawlar has shined.

 The 6-foot-2 and 190 pounder is batting an insane .405 with 13 hits, three home runs, seven RBI and six stolen bases. He gets on base at a .511 clip and slugs .703.

 It’s still early in his development as the Rawhide is the first stop for Arizona Diamondbacks prospects once drafted.

But it’s also an early indication of the type of talent Lawlar possesses and gives the D-Back an extremely bright outlook of his future. He seems to be the goods.

 

 

Here’s what Lawler had to say prior to beginning the season earlier this month…

 “I got drafted last summer so I’m finally excited to put the jersey on and start putting up some numbers in front of these fans. Coming out of Dallas, Texas I played some pretty good high school baseball down there.

 Texas is definitely one of the top states for that, I’m proud to say it. And, yeah, just growing up around those coaches, those players, I was definitely in that winning environment and playing baseball every day, every summer, everything. I’m ready to get out there and show what that has done for my life, and my career.”

Lawlar Looks To Follow Nick Ahmed: He’s The Future

 The Diamondbacks joined MLB as an expansion franchise in 1998 and haven’t had a ton of success outside of their magical 2001 World Series win over the New York Yankees.

That team was led by K-Kings Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, along with sluggers Matt Williams and Luis Gonzalez. While they’ve had some really good players in their organization at many different positions including shortstop (Tony Womack, Craig Counsell, and Stephen Drew) Nick Ahmed is the probably the franchise’s greatest shortstop, but he’s 32.

Meaning, Lawlar was drafted to eventually replace him. Sort of like Barry Larkin, being drafted to replaced Dave Concepcion in Cincinnati. No we’re not saying either Ahmed or Lawlar are on that level, but the example fits what the D-Backs have in mind.

 Lawlar Turned Down Vanderbilt: D-Backs Showed Him The Money

Upon finishing high school Lawlar was slated to attend baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt, a team that has played in the last two College World Series, led by the arms of Jack Leiter (No.2 overall pick by the Rangers) and Kumar Rocker (No.10 overall pick by the Mets).

They were two of seven players from that team drafted. So Lawlar, really had the best of both worlds at his disposal, but at the end of the day money talks.

 His $6.7M bonus was the third-highest given to any position player in the 2021 draft. Plus the opportunity to go against other future big leaguers daily had to weigh in the decision to sign with the D-Backs right away and not go to school. 

 Lawlar has all the tools, and says he models his game after Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.

The wiry, strong, high-impact player also mentioned Twins shortstop Carlos Correa and defensive wiz in the hole Andrelton Simmons of the Cubs. For flare, style and pop he said he loves Fernando Tatis Jr., the do-it-all star of the San Diego Padres.

Keep an eye out for Lawler, he’s an MLBbro that is quickly rising through the minors and on a collision course with The Show.