On Wednesday, John Sickels of Minor League Ball posted a list of 12 of the best non-rookie position players in MLB under age 25, and Brett Lawrie was all the way up in second. Of course, Sickels is clear that this should be regarded as his “personal favorites” list, but still… Lawrie’s name ahead of Andrew McCutcheon? Buster Posey? Mike Giancarlo Stanton?

It might be crazy (though it might not!), but I’ll take it.

He writes:

“The only thing I’m concerned about here is a possible tendency towards nagging injuries. If he stays healthy, Lawrie will be (already is) a terrific hitter with power, speed, and a glove that is underrated (at a minimum) and could be excellent once he settles in . He’s superb.”

I believe he means “supoib,” but nonetheless, cock-ticklingly awesome point taken.

In a follow-up piece he names 32 additional under-25s who didn’t make the original top 12, including Jays outfielders Colby Rasmus, Travis Snider, and Eric Thames.

Colby’s “broad base of skills is too intriguing to give up on after one bad year,” we’re told, and he’ll be interesting to follow as a test of the “change of scenery” theory.

Snider is a “change-of-scenery type” as well, he says, but it’s “too soon to give up on him in the big picture,” because while “strikeouts are eating him up, ” there’s “still plenty of thunder potential in the bat.”

Thames, Sickels tells us, has “a solid bat and has improved his defensive skills. I don’t expect him to be a star but he should be productive enough to hold his job.”

As a fully-committed member of Team Snider, I really don’t say nearly enough that if the extremely-likable Thames were to do that, it’s be a little bit awesome.

Comments (36)

  1. Sickels has always been really high on Lawrie. Even defensively, where most other scouts thought he won’t stick at third, Sickels said he believes in the glove. Right so far.

  2. Sickels has been beating the Lawrie drum since he compared him to Braun last summer (well before anyone thought THIS highly of him). And, well… he hasn’t been wrong so far! Dunno if it was posted here earlier, but he also said that Lawrie had the best-single game performance by a hitter that he’d ever scouted.

  3. Michael Garncarz: Team Snider

  4. In no way do I want Thames to fail, because as you said, he is extremely likable, but I still can’t get over my belief that I should be seeing Snider out there on Opening Day… something just doesn’t sit right.

  5. I dont know anyone in the world who would take lawrie over stanton.

  6. Was thinking last night, imagine what next years prospect list will look like if the Jays keep all of this years Minor Leaguers under the 130 at bat, 50 inning limit
    .
    Four players with good potential to be top 10– Gose, Hechavarria, D’Arnauld, Marisnick.
    Maybe twenty more with potential top 100– Seriously, look at the Jays top 40 list; almost every one shows signs of top 100 prospect talent.
    Even considering a 50% attrition rate, that’s a ton of talent.
    Combine that with four players in top 44 under 25er’s.

    It would take a lot to screw this system up. Don’t think even Jim Hendry could do it.

  7. Frag at Bluebird Banter has an interesting post , expanding on an article from ESPN, comparing Lawrie’s start to his MLB career to others who had similar starts at similar ages.

    http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2012/3/25/2901653/expanding-on-espns-article-on-brett-lawrie

    The list of comparables is, to say the least, impressive.

    • The striking difference is the ABs…fair to say the Jury should still be deliberating on how good Lawrie is and how good he can be.

      • But in the linked post, the author goes into players with comparable PAs as well, and Lawrie still comes out looking extremely well.

      • As bellw said, I compared Lawrie to other players with comparable PAs (150-250 PA).

  8. The nagging injuries is certainly something I’m mildly concerned about. But the same concern is his most likable quality, his extreme 100% playing style.

  9. “cock-ticklingly awesome point taken,” that made me lol a bit…I love Lawrie but there’s no way I’d take him over Stanton. Only advantage Lawrie has on him is he plays a more difficult position.

    • I dunno about that… Lawrie also has a ton more speed than Stanton, hits for more contact. The jury’s probably still out on their comparative on-base abilities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really surprised that he picked Lawrie over Stanton too, but the positional difference isn’t the only advantage Lawrie has. They’re just very different players.

    • Also more speed, higher avg, less prone to striking out…
      Im not sure Id rather have Lawrie over Stanton, but I can certainly see the argument for it.

    • If Lawrie continues playing like he did last year, I would:

      Power: Stanton > Lawrie
      Speed: Lawrie > Stanton
      Bat: Lawrie > Stanton
      Defense: Lawrie = Stanton (probably debatable between the two)
      ARL (Age Relative to Level): Stanton > Lawrie (not by much, though)
      Positional value: Lawrie > Stanton (3B > RF)

      • If Stanton has Speed then his base running skills can’t be very good, in 150 games in 2011, he had 5 steals and 5 CS. Also a .262 BA. Whats all the hype here.

  10. Team Thames, though I don’t want the Jays to give up on Snider cause if he can put it together he’s a beast

  11. My girlfriend has started to compile a list of comments about Lawrie, as made by Ashby, Howarth, Martinez , Tabler and Wilner, that can only be described as home-erotic.

  12. Team Cleatus!

  13. Lawrie is doomed to failure. BOOK IT

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