Lawley Opening Some Eyes

Lawley is hitting .297 in the Arizona Fall League

Dustin Lawley had a solid first full minor league season in 2012, hitting .261 for the Savannah Sand Gnats and clubbing 35 doubles and 14 home runs, all while playing both the outfield and third base. He was rewarded with a surprising trip to the Arizona Fall League from the low-A level and he has not only held his own out there, he continues to open some eyes.

"It went good," Lawley said of his season in Savannah. "I kind of struggled at the end, just a little bit, but overall I felt like I had a good year. I think I opened some eyes, I hope I did I should say."

A 19th round pick out of Wallace State Community College a year ago, his 52 extra-base hits in the South Atlantic League this year were a welcomed surprise but perhaps more shocking than anything was his invitation to the Arizona Fall League right from low-A ball.

"I was surprised I was getting to go, getting an opportunity to showcase what I can do," he admitted. "I was surprised but I was excited."

It's only fitting that he was assigned to the Surprise Rafters in the AFL and while he hasn't seen a ton of playing time, collecting just 37 at-bats with only a few more games left in the regular season, he hasn't been overwhelmed facing guys with a lot more minor league experience.

"No, not really," he said. "It's different with the pitchers but it's not that big a difference to me. They still have to throw over the plate. It's not as big a difference as I've heard. I feel like I'm holding my own."

He's hitting .297 thus far with four doubles and a home run, and even though he played 77 games in the outfield for Savannah this year, he's been used exclusively at third base in Arizona.

"It's going good, it's fun. I've only been playing third base since I've been here. I haven't been in the outfield, I've strictly been at third base. It's going good, everything's going smooth. It's good experience. I'm having a good time."

He played third base his final year of college and then manned the hot corner in 44 games for the Sand Gnats this year so it's not like third base is foreign territory for him, but the plan is to get him even more repetitions there next season.

"Yeah I think so, third will be my main position next year but I also play the outfield too," he said. "I think going into next season third will be my main position.

"It's a little different right now [not playing the outfield too]. I like being in different spots. I like changing it up instead of being in one spot. It's different but it's no big deal. If that's what they want, I'll do it."

He prides himself in being a bit of a versatile player and he envisions himself becoming a utility player for the Mets down the road. He's just hoping that his entire 2012 campaign, including the Arizona Fall League, has put him a bit more on the map.

"I hope so, that's my goal. I hope I've opened some eyes going into Spring Training [next year]," he concluded.

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