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Brett Lawrie tearing the cover off the ball in Florida

Mar 11, 2012, 6:38 PM EDT

Brett Lawrie Reuters

22-year-old Brett Lawrie did it again Sunday, going 3-for-3 against the Braves to raise his average to .579.

Toronto’s third baseman is 11-for-19 and has already collected five doubles this spring.

Lawrie was one of the AL’s best hitters after debuting at the tender age of 21 last August, batting .293/.373/.580 with nine homers and 25 RBI in 43 games. He ended up with 150 at-bats, so he won’t be eligible for Rookie of the Year honors this season. Perhaps he’ll just set his sights on the MVP award instead.

The Jays’ plan is to hit Lawrie seventh initially, with Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus likely to follow No. 3 hitter Jose Bautista. Still, it’s worth wondering how long that will last. Everyone in that group of candidates to bat behind Bautista has significant upside, but Lawrie’s potential probably dwarfs them all.

  1. cur68 - Mar 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Pretty impressive thus far, Mr. Lawrie. This keeps up, then that batting order will get an overhaul. I think this is the Beaver Men’s future # 2 hitter. Best spot to make the most of all that power and speed with the threat of Bautista to keep ‘em honest with the pitches.

    • Mark - Mar 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Realistically Bautista should be hitting fourth (as the #3 guy comes up the most # of times with nobody on base and the #4 comes in with the most), but as long as Bautista bats third it’s a waste to have Lawrie second. You’re not running with Bautista at the plate, because as you will remember anytime someone stole a base with Bautista up (I’m looking at you, Corey Patterson), Jose got IBBed.

      So with the Jays current lineup, Lawrie makes the most sense 4th. Take advantage of his power and punish opposing teams for pitching around Bautista. Not only that, but Lawrie can take advantage of his speed as the guys behind him don’t hit as well as the first couple hitters. Speed has the most value with guys who don’t hit for as much power, so it would be wasted in front of a guy like Bautista.

      Either way it’s pretty damn impressive what Lawrie’s done so far.

      And I’m hoping this didn’t post multiple times cause it said I wasn’t logged in when I was…

      • cur68 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM

        Pretty good point, Mark. I forgot about the “just walk Jose” mind set. This sure is a nice problem to have, innit? Ok, sure, Lawrie 4th, Lind can DH & do his thing in some other spot. Really, we could bake this cake any way we like; its going to be good, regardless.

  2. proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    On Rotoworld, Matthew is pulling for him to hit 4th. The kid is fun to watch.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Did they get him in a trade or did he come up through their system?

    • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      Lawrie came via trade from Milwaukee.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2012 at 9:04 PM

        For a sore armed pitcher.

      • Ben - Mar 11, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        And to think, the Milwaukee fans were downrating me for pointing out that Lawrie and Marcum accumulated the same WAR in 2011.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM

        Ah, he was part of the Marcum trade. What came in the Halladay trade?

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        Marcum was a big part of the Brewers winning 96 games and going to the NLCS, Brewer fans have no reason to be mad about that trade. Lawrie hasn’t gotten the Jays anywhere yet.

      • Ben - Mar 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM

        You clearly don’t understand how WAR works. Wins are wins, whether it’s from 171 PA worth of Lawrie, or 200 IP of Marcum. Replace Marcum with random starter, and replace Casey McGehee with Brett Lawrie and the Brewers win the exact same number of games in 2011. And in fact, they probably would have won more if they had started Lawrie over McGehee all year.

      • cur68 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:41 PM

        death: Drabek & D’Arnaud came in the Halliday trade. There was another guy but I think he got flipped for I-forget-who.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      Hi Cur. The other guy was flipped for Wallace, who in turn was traded for Gosse. Gosse was the player the Jays really wanted but the Phillies would not trade him at that time. After the Phillies traded Gosse to Houston, the Jays were able to trade for him. So essentially the the Jays got Drabek, D’Arnaud and Gosse for Halladay. Drabek has been a bust so far, but D’Arnaud and Gosse are highly rated prospects who shined at Double A last year.

      • phillychzstk2012 - Mar 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        GOSE not “gosse”…

  4. tn16 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    He makes up for the bad doc trade

    • Ben - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      Yeah, that d’Arnuad guy is a real chump. Or something.

      1. Travis d’Arnaud, C
      DOB: 2/10/89
      Height/Weight: 6-2/195
      Bats/Throws: R/R
      Drafted/Signed: First round, 2007, Lakewood HS (CA)
      2011 Stats: .311/.371/.542 at Double-A (114 G)
      Tools Profile: He can hit, has power, and plays solid defense.

      Year in Review: d’Arnaud’s ceiling always intrigued scouts, and a healthy season allowed him to put it all together to earn Eastern League MVP honors.
      The Good: d’Arnaud has all the tools to be a star player. He has a quick bat, outstanding hand-eye coordination, the ability to hit .280-.300, and the strength to add 25-plus home runs annually. He’s very athletic for a catcher with a plus arm, and he moves well behind the plate. He is a 40 runner.
      The Bad: d’Arnaud has the potential to be a plus defender, but he still needs to improve his receiving skills and the quickness of his release. He’s made some strides in his plate discipline, but it could still use refinement.
      Ephemera: d’Arnaud played 17 games as the number-five hitter for Double-A New Hampshire, batting .409/.451/.788 with five home runs.
      Perfect World Projection: He could be an All-Star catcher.
      Fantasy Impact: It’s rare to find catchers who can hit in the middle of the order.
      Path to the Big Leagues: d’Arnaud will enter 2012 as the best catching prospect in the minor leagues. He could put up some huge numbers at Triple-A Las Vegas before getting a look in September.
      ETA: Late 2012

    • mathieug79 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM

      I still dont think the halladay trade was that bad, we got d’arnaud, who looks to become a star catcher, we got Kyle drabek who i refuse to call him a bust, because he’s still young (comeback year this year, book it). and we also got a guy named Anthony gose (in a seperate trade, for Brett Wallace), a speedy CF that could probably swipe 40-50 bags/year. So all in all, for a trade that AA had no choice but to trade him to philly (since he wouldn’t waive his no movement clause anywhere else). I think we did pretty good. As for D’arnaud, Amaro wanted him back this off season, so that shows us. he’s going to be a great catcher!.

  5. jason1214 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Yes Brewer fans we know without Marcum you don’t make playoffs, but trust me Lawrie is going to be a player you regret trading. Ben is right about WAR, 100% correct.

  6. tn16 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    The jays would never trade lawrie for peneda rumors it never woulda happend

  7. tn16 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Jays 2013 starting line up
    1 Escobar SS
    2 Johnson 2B
    3 Bautista Rf
    4 lawrie 3b
    5 Jp arincibia 1B ( it will happen )
    6 Lind Dh
    7 snider Lf
    8 goose Cf
    9 da’naurd C

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:02 AM

      Edit function: Check the spelling of the names. As far as the lineup is concerned, it is entirely possible, however, Gosse is a natural lead off hitter.

  8. cmutimmah - Mar 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Arencibia is very overrated by you guys… He DID hit .220, which was in line with his minor league numbers… you can get a better first baseman than that for a couple million a year…

    I think he gets traded, Bautista gets shifted to 1B, and they keep Rasmus in the OF for his defense. (They gave up a good amount last year to land Rasmus, not sure why that guy didn’t pencil him into the 2013 lineup…)

  9. sasquash20 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I hope this kid is a stud. I just drafted him in the 3rd round of a 5 keeper fantasy baseball league. Got ripped by the other guys in the league but I think Lawrie has a real chance to be one of the top 3rd baseman for the next decade. I passed on much more proven guys just because I’m so high on this kid. I would hit him 4 if I was the Blue Jays.

  10. foreverchipper10 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    This young man is a keeper on my fantasy team for the next 3 years :)

  11. wkinsomnia - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I just traded Halladay straight up in my keeper league for this kid. His potential upside is far to strong to overlook imo. I now have a very young but solid Infield. Lawrie@3rd, Castro@SS, Zobrist@2nd, Ellsbury@OF and a final player tbd as my 5th Keeper. I have Wainwright, Jennings, Walker, Konerko and Bumgarner to choose from. if anyone has any opinions it’d be appreciated.

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