MLB Draft Profile: Jordan Lawlarby Alex Kielar May 24, 2021 2 comments
Jordan Lawlar is the top prep prospect in the 2021 draft class. The shortstop has climbed his way up draft boards and some mocks even have him going first overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lawlar has all the tools at a premium position to become a star in the big leagues one day.
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Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit College Prep High School
Weight: 183 lbs.
High School Stats: 64G -.430/.547/.793, 10 HRs, 71 RBI, 71 R, 33/41 K/BB, 44 SBs (2019-21)
Lawlar is one of the most toolsy and advanced approach hitters in this draft class. He doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game and has proven time and time again that he is the best high school player in the country. The University of Vanderbilt commit has gotten a lot of hype. As you can see in the video below, Lawlar has a smooth and gorgeous swing as he stays through the baseball.
Lawlar has incredible bat speed and has a smooth, compact swing. He has such a mature approach at the plate as he hits the ball to all fields and walks more than he strikes out. There is no fooling him, as he is seen easily spitting on offspeed pitches as he sells out for the fastball. The power comes naturally, as he just goes up there trying to make contact. The raw power is off the charts and only will be tapped into more as he fills out. His approach to all fields makes him very dangerous against any pitcher he faces. Unlike most hitters these days, there really isn’t any swing-and-miss in Lawlar’s game.
The speed isn’t just with the bat, as Lawlar has blazing speed on the basepaths. He rounds the bases in the blink of an eye and is always a threat to steal. In his varsity high school career, he stole 44 bases in 44 attempts. On the defensive side, Lawlar is a natural shortstop with smooth hands who makes plays look easy. He has a quick first step and finishes it off with strong and accurate throws. His quick first step allows him to position himself to make sure his throw is accurate.
There really isn’t much to Lawlar’s game that is worrisome. At this point, we kind of just have to nitpick, but none of the top draft prospects are perfect. The one thing about Lawlar that is a little farther behind than the rest of his body of work is his defense. While he has solid range, arm strength, and accuracy, he isn’t always consistent coming to the ball. He could fix some things when it comes to his footwork and angles to the ball. Something that he does that I never like in baseball players is double clutching after he fields a ball. When there is a fast runner on the bases, they will have a good chance of beating out the throw. There was one practice play I watched him make where he was moving to his right on his backhand and double-clutched. The play really slows down and he was moving so far to his right that a double-clutch could cause e a runner to beat it out.
Pro Comparison: Carlos Correa
Along with having a similar build of a prototypical shortstop, Lawlar also has the same type of plate approach as the Houston Astros shortstop. They both stay consistent through the zone and hit to all fields, while letting the power come naturally. When Correa was drafted, he had almost the same build as Lawlar at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds. Correa went first overall in 2013 to the Astros, while it is quite possible Lawlar see the same thing happen to him. He will definitely go top five.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 2, Texas Rangers
Why not take the hometown kid? The Rangers are in the midst of a long rebuild, and by the time Lawlar is ready to come up, they could be towards the end of it. While they have quite a few shortstops already in their system, this is about taking the best player available. A team so deep in a rebuild should do just that, while Kumar Rocker will likely be the other top choice.