Lawhorn still living his dream
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Trevor Lawhorn wasn’t exactly lighting it up with the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns. While playing sparingly, he hit .244 with two homers and nine RBIs in 28 games for the Low Class A minor league team.
When the former East Carolina standout was called up to the Potomac Nationals, a High Class A team that plays in the Carolina League, to say he was stunned is an understatement.
Lawhorn has been making the most of his promotion. In 17 games with the Nationals, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, Lawhorn is hitting .317 with two homers and four RBIs.
He said the adjustment from Low A to High A has been a smooth transition.
Lawhorn, who was a ninth-round draft selection (258th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft, had his biggest game with the Nationals in Monday’s 17-3 win over the Kinston Indians at Grainger Stadium. Lawhorn went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double.
He ripped a double to lead off the second inning and eventually scored. Lawhorn clubbed his second home run with the Nationals one inning later, belting a solo home run over the East Carolina sign in left-center field.
Lawhorn also singled and scored in the third inning.
A fan favorite at ECU, where he hit .301 with 21 homers and 66 RBIs, Lawhorn said getting to play close to his old stomping grounds was enjoyable.
Some fans who watched Lawhorn swing a hot stick with the Pirates made the trip to Kinston’s Grainger Stadium to watch him play.
Lawhorn spends the bulk of his time playing at second base or third base, the same positions he played at East Carolina. However, the versatile player also saw time at first base and designated hitter when the Nationals played at Kinston for a recent three-game series.
He has also played some in the outfield, on the mound and in the bullpen as a catcher.
Lawhorn said his stint at first base in Monday’s game, the third time in his pro career that he’s played that position, wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty.
While Lawhorn has just a few relief appearances on the mound, he feels comfortable every time he toes the rubber.
Lawhorn has made a few stops since being drafted, including stops in Montana, Florida, South Dakota and Wisconsin. He has 34 homers, 184 RBIs and is hitting .252 in his minor league career.
After being a star in high school and riding that success into college with the Pirates, Lawhorn has had to make the adjustment to not playing every day in the pros.
He said not being in the lineup every day can make it tough on hitters.
Lawhorn plans on taking it one game at a time.
He would like to get called up to Double A soon, but isn’t setting any timetables.
Though it hasn’t been an easy road, Lawhorn has enjoyed every step. He enjoys the game of baseball more than ever.
FORMER PIRATES IN PROS
Darryl Lawhorn, Trevor’s twin brother, is hitting .275 with eight homers and 39 RBIs with the Stockton Ports (Class A Advanced California League).
Jake Smith is hitting .296 with two homers and 14 RBIs with the Kane County Cougars (Class A Midwest League).
Adam Witter is hitting .211 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs with the Connecticut Defenders (Double A Eastern League).
Dale Mollenhauer is hitting .297 with one homer, 31 RBIs and 16 stolen bases with the Kannapolis Intimidators (Class A South Atlantic League).
Shane Mathews is 0-1 with one save and a 5.16 ERA with the Delmarva Shorebirds (Class A South Atlantic League).
Sam Narron is 5-3 with a 4.08 ERA with the Nashville Sounds (Triple A Pacific Coast League).
Jason Neitz is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Class A Short-Season Northwest League).
Dustin Sasser is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA with the Daytona Cubs (Class A Advanced Florida State League).
Ricky Brooks is 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA with the Winston-Salem Warthogs (Class A Carolina League).
T.J. Hose is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA with the Yakima Bears (Class A Short-Season Northwest League).
Justin Bristow is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA with the AZL Cubs (Rookie Arizona League).
Josh Ruhlman is 0-0 with one save and a 6.75 ERA with the AZL Royals (Rookie Arizona League).
Corey Kemp is hitting .220 with two homers and five RBIs with the Helena Brewers (Rookie Pioneer League).