by Kyle Johansen
On April 22, the Professor wrote the following about Blue Jays third base prospect Brett Lawrie who currently has 0% ownership in most leagues:
“Playing at Triple-A he has opened the year hitting .410 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 13 R and 3 SB in 61 AB. He also has 7 doubles and 1 triple. His strikeouts aren’t out of control (15 K), but you can’t love a 24.6% strikeout rate. Of course it looks even worse when you realize he has walked just 3 times, good for a 4.7% walk rate.”
It’s almost as if Lawrie read the article, as a look at his current stats reveal a much improved 18.9% strikeout rate with an increased walk rate of 6.9%. While his batting average was bound to go down, Lawrie has turned on both the power and speed with 9 of each on the year to go along with 1 caught stealing and a line of .337/.395/.607.
According to the Blue Jays official website, Lawrie’s improved defense and plate discipline may soon earn him a call up to be the everyday third baseman, which begs the question, what kind of production can we expect from Lawrie in the majors?
One interesting comparable to Lawrie when looking at their minor league stats is David Wright:
Lawrie appears to be developing power at the same rate as Wright, while hitting for slightly higher batting averages and stealing more bases than the perennial first round pick. While comparing minor league numbers is far from an exact science, it seems clear that these two players have very similar skill sets. To get a sense of what we may expect from Lawrie when he is exposed to big league pitching, here is a look at what David Wright put up as a 21-year-old rookie in 283 AB: .293/.332/.525 with 14 HR and 6 SB.
Again, it’s obviously not as easy as copy and pasting Wright’s stat line and assuming Lawrie can replicate, but even approaching those numbers would make him an incredibly valuable commodity, with 2B/3B eligibility as icing on the cake. According to Baseball America, “Lawrie has very strong hands and a quick bat, allowing him to wait on pitches and drive the ball to all fields.”
It appears that Lawrie is ready to make an impact as soon as he is called up. While there is always an adjustment period, Lawrie should be an attractive power/speed option at either 2B or 3B and would fit comfortably at MI.
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