When he first started feeling discomfort in his left shoulder last August, shortstop Jordan Lawlar figured it was nothing serious.
“I knew something was off,” Lawlar said. “It went through my mind to finish the season—or maybe I should say something.”
Lawlar, the sixth overall pick in 2021 from Dallas Jesuit Prep, decided on the latter—and imagine his surprise when he was told he needed surgery to repair a labrum tear, a procedure that brought a swift end to his first taste of pro ball.
As he neared a return to the field, Lawlar was able to see positives in how things played out. It happened late in the season. And, he said, he is glad it happened early in his career rather than later.
“We can get it done now, rehab it and never have it happen again,” Lawlar said.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Lawlar played in just two Arizona Complex League games before the injury, but he said he still managed to build confidence from his first professional summer. He swung the bat well during intrasquad games after signing, driving the ball to all fields with power.
And he even managed to learn a thing or two during his down time. Late in the season, the 19-year-old began attending D-backs games at Chase Field, where he would sit behind home plate near the club’s advance scout Jeff Gardner and fellow injured top prospect Corbin Carroll.
The prospects would pick Gardner’s brain and engage in conversations about the game that Lawlar described as “higher level baseball thoughts.”
Lawlar said he’s hopeful to be fully healthy and ready to play in games by the start of the minor league season, but he guessed that he would be back at the latest by the end of April. As of early February, he had been taking dry swings and he expected to continue to ramp up his activity.
He said he has no intention of pushing it in order to race back as soon as possible. He wants to make sure his rehab is done right.