Former BPCC pitcher Lawson cashes in draft pick, signs with Mets

JOURNAL SPORTS

The path to professional baseball again includes Bossier Parish Community College.

Former Cavaliers pitcher Justin Lawson has signed with the New York Mets after being selected in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month.

A Winnfield native, Lawson pitched for BPCC during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, then moved on to North Carolina State. In two seasons with the Wolf Pack, he made 46 appearances, pitched 90 innings, recorded 108 strikeouts and posted a 3.50 career earned run average. 

Nine days after being drafted, Lawson signed with the Mets on July 19.  While terms were not announced, BPCC baseball coach Bobby Gilliam noted that the slot value where Laweson was drafted was $150,000.

“His only offers coming out of high school were us and one Mississippi junior college,” said Gilliam. “In the recruiting process our main selling point was our conference. Region 14 is all Texas JUCOs except us and it’s one of the premiere junior college conferences.

“It didn’t take long to realize he was special. His talent stood out right away, especially his slider. That pitch was the key to him getting drafted. The spin rate and all the data on it already has it above MLB average,” said Gilliam.

“His fastball is currently in the low to mid 90s but the ability to throw the slider at any time is what separates him from the crowd. We all had a lot of fun watching him be successful at the highest levels of college baseball,” the Cavaliers’ coach said.