July 6 - Nearly a month to the day he had his independent league contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kevin Lachance finds himself one step from the Major Leagues.
A graduate of Centreville and a 10th round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 out of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Lachance was tearing through the independent American Association at a .372 clip with a .509 on-base percentage when Arizona signed him on June 7.
After hitting .258 with nine RBI in 10 games with the organization’s rookie-level Pioneer League club, Lachance was moved to Visalia in the Advanced-A California League last week. When Triple-A Reno second baseman Domingo Leyba was promoted yesterday to fill the roster spot created by an injury to Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta, the organization decided to promote Lachance to fill his spot for the remainder of Reno’s weekend home series with Takoma.
He was told of the promotion after last night’s game by Visalia manager Shawn Roof, and he’s penciled in the lineup at second base for tonight’s game.
“It’s been a crazy, obviously. I arrived this morning and went straight to the ballpark. It was a late night and early morning, and I’m trying to find a place to get a little rest before the game,” Lachance said. “I guess something happened and I assume it’ll just be for a few days, but who knows. I’m here now and will just compete. It’s an awesome opportunity and I’m excited for it. It’s kind of been a wild ride, especially recently.
“All you can do is show up and compete wherever they send you.”
Lachance, who turned 25 earlier this week, was an all-region shortstop at Centreville and earned All-America East Conference honors when he hit .373 with six home runs, 29 RBI and 28 steals as a senior at UMBC. A shoulder injury prevented him from making his professional debut until 2017, and he spent time in indy ball last year after the Dodgers released him in training camp.
Signed in part due to his defensive versatility, Lachance has played second base, third base, left field and center field since joining the organization, and he has also practiced at shortstop - his position in high school and college - as well as in right field.
“I’ve kind of been all over,” he said. “That’s what they told me, that versatility is something that they like. Something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in is my defense.”
Photo of Kevin Lachance courtesy of UMBC Athletics