The 21 year old has been tearing up AAA all season. Lawrie is batting .349 with a .406 OBP. He’s only failed to make it to base 6 games all season. He’s hit 12 home runs, placing him third in the Pacific Coast League.
He was just named the PCL’s player of the week, going 13-26 with 11 RBI and 13 runs scored.
With Lawrie’s unquestionable offensive potential, the question keeps getting raised; when will Brett Lawrie finally join the Jays?
Although Manager John Farrell and GM Alex Anthopolous seem to be accelerating the timeline by name-dropping more often, there’s still no set answer.
“In due time,” said Farrell in an interview with National Post’s John Lott.
With the 3B position causing the most headaches in the field, why not bring Lawrie up now?
Of course, no one except John Farrell and Alex Anthopolous can give the final word, but here are three possible reasons why it’s prudent for the team to be patient with Lucky 13.
- Plate discipline.
This is the obvious concern, mentioned by Anthopolous in that same interview. It’s something the kid has been focusing on; paying more attention at the plate, reducing his strikeout rate and drawing more walks. Over his first 34 games in 2011, Lawrie drew only 5 walks and struck out 29 times. In the last 10? 9 walks and 9 strikeouts.
Without question, he’s improving. The question now is whether he can sustain this, and continue to reduce that strikeout rate.
Lawrie spent the first three years of his minor league career manning 2B for the Brewers. When he came to the Jays, he was converted over to 3B, presumably because of the team’s more urgent need to fill the gap in the hot corner.
In his 135 games in 2010, Lawrie made 25 errors at 2B. So far in 2011, he’s got 11 at 3B over 44 games.
His defense will continue to improve. He just needs more experience.
Brett Lawrie’s known as an ‘intense’ kind of player. He’s a live wire, rarely sitting still. But this can translate into a fair bit of hot-headedness when things don’t go his way for a call.
To me, this might be the biggest reason the team is being so cautious with Lawrie. Bring him up too soon, and he might explode, and not in a good way. It’s possible they want to be sure he’s as ready as possible, to position him in the way that he has the best chance at early success.
Three good reasons for the Jays to give Lawrie more time.
But on the other hand, the team’s weakest spot is at 3B. Encarnacion’s fielding percentage is down to .784; by far the worst in baseball for any position player. (Pitchers excluded). Offensively, Eddie’s been pretty weak as well. He’s batting just .217 in May.
Of course, the Jays have another option for 3B; John McDonald. You know I love the guy, and he’s error-free at 3B over 13 games. But his hitting? Barely above the Mendoza line. He’s not going to help us bring more runners home.
The Jays have a plan for Lawrie, one that should extend into a lengthy career.
Meanwhile, the Toronto fans will just wait, with baited breath.