A thirdbaseman and centerfielder in college at West Florida, where he helped the Argonauts win a DII title, Lawley has mostly played left field as a professional.
This has been a busy awards season for the 24-year-old Lawley, who also collected the FSL’s MVP award thanks to a .260/.313/.512 line with 25 homeruns and 92 RBI in 122 games for St. Lucie. The Mets rewarded Lawley with a late-season promotion to AAA Las Vegas for the final week of the regular season and the playoffs.
Lawley hit for real power in 2013, leading the FSL in home runs while playing as old for the FSL. He’s pound-for-pound, one of the strongest Mets farmhands. He used to use an aggressive, full body load to initiate his swing and then would bring his body forward with an aggressive move launching his hands and hips together. I was told that he calmed that move down somewhat in 2013. Both his swing and his approach are aggressive. He attacks the first fastball he sees in counts.
Lawley’s problem is one of time and profile. The player who hit the most home runs in the Florida State League at age-24 and above in the last six years has not yet become a big leaguer. Here’s the illustrious list.
2012 – Kyle Roller (NYY)
2011 – Brad Glenn (TOR)
2010 – Brock Kjeldgaard (MIL)
2009 – Jesus Gonazalez (TOR)
2008 – Brian Dopirak (TOR)
2007 – Jacob Butler (TOR)
2006 – Jay Garthwaite (CIN)
Roller hit .253/.347/.427 with 17 homers in 124 games for the Trenton Thunder in AA in 2013 at age 25.
Glenn hit .264/.334/.459 with 17 homers in 111 games in a repeat of AA and then .246/.329/.508 in 18 games in AAA for the Jays this year.
Kjeldgaard, while repeated AA this year, hit .222/.333/.417 in 134 games with 24 dingers and a 29% strikeout rate.
Gonzalez is out of baseball.
Dopirak reached AAA with the Jays in 2009 and repeated the level in 2010, but after the Astros gave him a shot in 2011 and a combined .286/.321/.465 line in 195 AAA games, he too is out of baseball.
Butler hit .242/.341/.424 in 122 games in AA in 2008 and appears to be out of baseball.
Garthwaite hit .238/.295/.421 in AA in 2007 and is out of baseball.
Lawley would be bucking recent history of older players in the FSL a big way if he developed into a useful big leaguer.
Other (Good) Candidates
None. The Mets honored Noah Syndergaard, Jayce Boyd and Kevin Plawecki with other awards. No other St. Lucie player deserved recognition.