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Blue Jays GM: decision coming soon on top prospect Brett Lawrie

May 31, 2011, 10:50 PM EDT

Brett Lawrie Reuters

10:50 p.m. EDT update: Amid speculation that Lawrie could be called up to make his major league debut Friday, he was forced to leave Tuesday’s game with Triple-A Las Vegas after being hit on the hand by a pitch.

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With two months down, we’re nearing the point at which teams can call up their top prospects without having to worry about them becoming super-two arbitation eligible after 2013.  One everybody is watching is Brett Lawrie, and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said Tuesday that a decision on the 21-year-old can be expected soon.

Lawrie, who was switched from second base to third after the Blue Jays acquired him from the Brewers for Shaun Marcum over the winter, is hitting ..354/.413/.677 with 15 homers and 11 steals for Triple-A Las Vegas.  That’s an outstanding environment for offense, but he’s been even better on the road than at home, hitting .375/.436/.663.

Lawrie’s defense remains rough, though.  Or as Project Prospect’s Adam Foster told me last week:

I’ve seen Lawrie twice in person. His hands would be among the worst of any big
league infielder if he remains at third. The scout who caught him for me last week confirmed that his stiff hands, difficulty throwing and lack of focus on defense don’t project well for his future as an infielder.

The Jays, though, badly need some help at third base and may soon give him a try there anyway.  A switch to left field could come later down the road.

For more on Lawrie, go check out Project Prospect’s latest scouting report, which comes with a couple of video clips.

  1. spudchukar - May 31, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Either a switch back to third for Bautista, or maybe even Hill moving over there could be in order if Lawrie is as poor as advertized. Hard to believe he could be much worse than Encarnacion, but if so I guess he could always DH.

    • Chris K - Jun 1, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      NO way. JoBau could be a GG candidate this year. Anyone is an upgrade over E5

  2. proudlycanadian - May 31, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    He is only 21 and has been a third baseman for all of 2 months. Once he comes up, Brian Butterfield will refine his fielding.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:01 AM

      he will be another overrated bum like Travis Synder, Rios, ect. This guy is going nowhere fast

  3. ndphog - May 31, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Keep in mind that ProjectProspect didn’t even have Lawrie in their Top 100 previously. Not to discredit them, but giving Lawrie a glowing review would make them look even worse than they already do for their omission.

    • proudlycanadian - May 31, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      I have never heard of them. Are they amateurs? Do they use scouts who could not stick with major league teams?

      • ndphog - May 31, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        They’ve been around for a few years (at least, I’ve heard of them that long). I’m not really sure about their set-up, but they generally provide a lot of free material and videos you can’t get elsewhere (at least, for free). Their rankings are generally no better or worse (or different) than Law or Sickels or Kevin Goldstein, etc.

        I just know that they seemed to have missed badly previously on Lawrie.

  4. ndphog - May 31, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    On rotoworld, they just said Lawrie will probably be called up on Friday.

  5. Mark - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Kind of ironic that they say he could be the worst fielding 3B in the majors, when the Jays used E5 for 15+ games. There’s no way he’s thaaaaaaaaaaat bad. It’s interesting they say that now, because a week ago Sickels said the exact opposite of his defense. Sickels also mentioned that he didn’t think Lawrie had a lack of focus. I’m gonna go with him over the guys who didn’t even put him in their top 100 prospect list.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/5/23/2186000/scouting-report-brett-lawrie-3b-toronto-blue-jays

    Sickels: “My view of Lawrie’s defense is this: he has more than enough range and athleticism for third base, has a quick release, and a strong enough arm. He just needs more experience. ”

    He goes on to explain that even within the game his errors were a result of him getting to a ball that most 3B don’t even get to. Which is one of the reasons I hate errors – if you don’t have the range to get to the ball, you don’t get credited with an error.

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