Wasn’t Edwin Encarnacion supposed to be sharing time at 1B and DH with Adam Lind? Well scratch that! According to MLBs Gregor Chisholm (via Twitter), the team has now decided that Jose Bautista will be their full-time right fielder. That means that Encarnacion will be their Opening Day third baseman and sends shockwaves up and down the Blue Jays roster…
Or does it? While the defensive setup may be different, is it that meaningful? So, there isn’t a spot in the outfield for either Travis Snider or Juan Rivera, but assuming that they are healthy (Snider did leave yesterday’s game for precautionary reasons) the odd man out will likely be the designated hitter.
Nothing changes… At least on the surface. So what does this actually mean? If Encarnacion fails (or some would say when he fails considering his history), a path has been cleared for Brett Lawrie to reach the Major Leagues in 2011.
The biggest change since I originally discussed him (click here to view my original report on him) is obviously his locale, as he was traded to Toronto in the offseason in exchange for Shaun Marcum. He also has moved across the diamond, now looking like the Blue Jays third baseman of the future (and the future could come sooner than you think) instead of waiting for Rickie Weeks to disappear at second base.
Let me just give the highlights of my concerns for Lawrie that I have previously discussed:
- Plate Discipline – He had a 21.3% strikeout rate and 7.8% walk rate at Double-A (both numbers could regress in the upper levels)
- Facing Righties – He hit .266 with a .415 SLG against righties ‘ 10 (against lefties he hit .336 with a .546 SLG
Still, with power potential (36 doubles, 16 triples and 8 home runs in ’10) and speed (30 SB), there is an awful lot to like. Now with the opportunity to call Toronto home, where the majority of the lineup excelled in ’10, things look even better.
Yes, there is reason to be concerned, but there is also an awful lot to like. The Blue Jays have potentially cleared the way for him in ’11 (if Bautista was at 3B there was little chance he arrived), so he should be on everyone’s radar, especially those in long-term keeper leagues. With his potential, he’s worth stashing immediately as it wouldn’t be surprising to see him reach the Majors by June (assuming he delivers at Triple-A).
What are your thoughts? When do you think he will reach the Major Leagues? How do you think he will produce?
**** Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****
Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings: