Yesterday afternoon Toronto Blue Jays prized hitting 3B prospect Brett Lawrie continued his monumental start at the ‘AAA’ level going 2-4 with 2 homeruns, driving in 4 and walking once. Lawrie, only 21 is one of the youngest players in the league and has shown he has all of the tools and talent to one day become an integral part of the Toronto Blue Jays line-up.
Though some have called on the Jays to bring the youngster up as soon as humanly possible I feel general manager Alex Anthopoulos and company have handled the kid perfectly. Through 43 games Lawrie has absolutely raked, slashing 346/403/633 with 15 2Bs, 11 HRs and even 9 SBs to boot. What more could a team ask of its star prospect with an ISO approach .300?
“I’m very pleased with how he’s responded to us asking him to be a little more selective in his at bats,” said Anthopoulos. “I’m more excited about him today than I was in April when he was hitting .430.”
I feel the exact same as the Jays have felt, Lawrie has been impressive but if he thinks he will be able to walk all over AL East major league pitching on a nightly basis without a much more selective approach he is going to be sadly mistaken. As it stands now Lawrie has a less than stellar 6.9 BB% and while his K-rate is only 19% what has me most excited is seeing the adjustments and progress he is making at the plate.
“When I look at a game report for Lawrie the first thing I look at is the number of pitches seen per plate appearance,” said Anthopoulos. “When they’re not going to give him a lot to hit we need to see that he’s made the adjustment, and he’s starting to do that.”
Over his past ten games (and 40 ABs) the Jays top prospect has slashed 375/490/800 (including 7 extra-base hits) and though it is a small sample size the most impressive stat that stands out in my mind is the 9 BBs to go with only 7 Ks – a stellar 18+ BB%. If Lawrie continues this trend and focuses on taking quality at-bat after quality at-bat we might have a true star in the making.
While I don’t think Brett Lawrie is destined to become the major league leader in the walk category given his natural ability to square the bat on the ball in a very consistent matter any added patience and increase plate discipline could see Lawrie go from good to great, especially at a valuable corner infield spot like third base.
So when will we likely see Brett Lawrie on the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre? When he is fully ready to take over on a full-time basis and not a second sooner, and if that also happens to save his pending “super two” status even better, but that would be purely coincidental of course (wink, wink). Be patient Jays fans this invaluable seasoning and progress being shown by our star prospect could go a long, long way in helping Lawrie be the best player he can possibly be.
Prospect guru John Sickels took in a recent Las Vegas 51 game and wrote a glowing scouting report on Brett.
**UPDATE, Ken Rosenthal reports Brett Lawrie will be called up as soon as Friday June 3rd, 2011**