This was an interesting season for the St. Lucie Mets. In the first half they finished in second place, eight games out of first and missed making the playoffs. In the second half, they fought and nearly pulled off a miracle at the end before running out of time. It was a very good season for a team with some talented hitters.
One of those hitters, outfielder Dustin Lawley, put up impressive numbers. He was awarded with the 2013 Florida State League Player of the Year honors. Dustin has been consistent with his bat while in pro ball, but in 2013 he was on another planet. He led the league with 25 home runs and 240 total bases. He was second with 92 RBIs, tied for third with 33 doubles, and placed in the top ten with 69 runs scored and 122 hits. Lawley also posted an .825 OPS and a .512 Slugging Percentage for the season.
Since 2011, Lawley has gradually made his way through the Mets farm system. After college, he arrived in Kingsport where he batted .284 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 57 games. He was promoted to Low-A Savannah towards the end of 2011 and remained with the Sand Gnats for all of 2012. That season, Dustin batted .261, with 77 runs scored, 35 doubles, 14 home runs and 66 RBI.
The Mets showed confidence in Lawley’s abilities by promoting him Triple-A Las Vegas at the end of the FSL season. There he participated in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. Even though the 51′s did not win the championship, it was good postseason experience for him – something this front office puts great emphasis on.
In Lawley, the Mets have another young talented outfielder who is a legit power threat. He could make his major league debut very soon. I reached out to him and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me to share with our readers. Enjoy…
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David – In 2011, you were a part of the University of West Florida baseball team that won their first-ever D-II National Championship, can you describe the feeling of playing in the biggest game in your school’s history and actually winning it?
Dustin - Yea, it was very exciting playing for their first National Championship in baseball; no other team has gone that far and did what we did. But very exciting.
David – On the day that you were drafted by the Mets in 2011, where were you when you received the news? Can you describe what was going through your mind and who was the first person you called?
Dustin – I was at my house and my mom called my dad, I was just very excited to get an opportunity. That’s all I wanted.
David – What did it mean to you to win the 2013 Florida State League Player of the Year Award ?
Dustin – Winning the Florida State Player of the Year was a big honor for me, I really work hard and when you get a reward, it shows that hard work pays off.
David – Is there a Mets manager or coach who has made an impact in your approach to the game and helped elevate your performance?
Dustin – All the managers and coaches have helped me in different ways.
David – Which part of your game do you think improved the most from 2012?
Dustin – I think I improved on all of my game. That’s what I try to do every year, to improve on every aspect of my game and know that I’m never good enough.
David - What was the biggest difference you felt jumping from St. Lucie straight to Las Vegas?
Dustin - Not really a big difference from jumping up to Vegas. Baseball is the same game every where you go, some people just make it out to be a big deal like that, but it’s not.
David – In Game 3 of the playoffs with Las Vegas, and the team down 2 games to 0, you had a key home run to tie the game; how did it feel to produce when the team needed a big boost?
Dustin – It felt good but I was just going out there and trying to do my job and help the team out.
David - Who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?
Dustin - I hope the Mets fan are excited to see me.
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Thanks to Dustin Lawley for his time. Its great when you see young ballplayers doing what is necessary to achieve success in the game. Dustin has a great opportunity to do some great things in baseball, and all he needs is the chance to prove it. So far that is all he has been doing, and I wish him luck on his journey. Looking forward to watching him make an impact in 2014.