It was inevitable that the Brett Lawrie Folklore would eclipse his on-field contributions at some point. After the gallons of ink spilled in his name during his spectacular debut season and the off-season which saw him win “the cleanest balls in baseball” after all the sack washings from national media members, the state of Brett Lawrie Nation sort of makes sense here in 2012.

Brett Lawrie is going to be a superb Major League Baseball player. He is only 22-years old. The sky is the limit. He is a star and the consummate showman and all that good stuff.

He’s also off to a downright awful start to the season. Yet not a peep. Not a word of Lawrie’s general offensive struggles or apparent willingness to swing at just about anything thrown in his direction. If we’re being honest, we can admit it: he doesn’t look good out there.

Let’s back up a tick here: saying “he doesn’t look good out there” is not true at all. Brett Lawrie looks fanfuckingtastic doing just about anything. Running into outs, steaming down the first base line on another routine ground out, stopping hot shots down the third base line with his chest; Brett Lawrie looks like freakbeast doing each and every one of them.

The insane energy level at which Brett Lawrie lives life makes it difficult to notice his slash line, which is downright bummerish .279/.318/.377. He plays so hard and so fast it is genuinely shocking to notice he has two extra base hits and three walks on the year.

It is very early, of course. Too early to worry and too early to contemplate the various “adjustments” required of a player getting to know the league. With my eyes, Brett Lawrie looks like a guy who lost some of his vaunted patience.

There seems to be an alarming trend towards swinging at pitches out of the zone, a skill Canadian Jesus acquired via osmosis halfway through last season, one he put to great use during his time in Toronto. Fangraphs shows a marked increase in out-of-the-zone swings and swings in general for the young third baseman. Like everything written here, not cause for concern as much as a factoid worth a mental note.

It is a dangerous game, elevating Lawrie beyond his achievements. If (a big if) he doesn’t figure it out, somebody will notice. At some point the struggles will overshadow the mythology and the inevitable sophomore slumps will become apparent to even the most ardently maple-bonered.

Brett Lawrie will forever get rope from a certain section Blue Jays fandom because who, and how, he is. The inertia from his explosive beginnings will carry him through many a slump, with his high-octane approach to the game buying him more and more good will along the way.

Again: still early. But Brett Lawrie’s lack of contribution at the plate bears monitoring. The curious trend of balls beaten into the ground in front of the plate bears monitoring (already 30 ground balls if you believe stat stringers. Lawrie only managed 45 GBs in nearly triple the plate appearances in 2011.) The scorn heaped on players posting better numbers across the board is sad only in its predictability.

Brett Lawrie will be fine. But right now he isn’t. And that is okay. Let’s just admit it is happening and wait for the day his numbers improve. Wait for patient approach to return and then the walks will return to previous levels (2012 walk rate is almost half 2011) and watch as the doubles and triples roll in. They will. But, for now, they aren’t. Just thought you should now, you know?

Comments (131)

  1. This was kind of the dirty secret to the Jays’ decent start- that they hadn’t gotten a lot from Lawrie and Bautista, and the bullpen has struggled at times.

    I like your writing, Drew, very analytical and nuanced, only getting into a big froth when needed. I tend to agree with the thinking that Lawrie will be just fine, but he’ll have his growing pains.

  2. I have reasonable expectations for Brett and to date, he is exceeding them.

    Mike Schmidt. That. Is. All.

    • I don’t want to start comparing Lawrie to arguably the best 3rd baseman of all time, but Fuck me did Schmidt have a horrendous rookie year.

      Lawrie will be fine he has too much talent to fuck this up. So going by Schmidt’s stats expect a nice MVP type season for Lawrie next year.

  3. I noticed Lawrie has closed his stance a bit from last year. Not sure if it was a conscious decision, but it bears following.

    Also, I wish Tabler/Martinez would stop making him out to be Scott fucking Rolen at 3B. He’s made some nice plays, but he’s also looked awkward on a whole whack of em.

    • Agreed.

      Buck Martinez: “There’s nobody in baseball that has Lawrie’s range at 3B.”

      Um…

      Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria says hi.

      • Adrian Beltre has similar range to lawrie, Longo doesnt but hes got a far better glove.

        • Beltre has averaged a 12 range factor over his career, Lawrie’s was around 6 last year and 3 this year.

      • to be fair to buck (as wrong as that feels), he did qualify that statement with ‘to his left.’

      • Everytime I’ve heard it he’s said nobody has “better” range than Lawrie to his left. That feels accurate, Beltre is great but would you really say he has better range than Lawrie.

    • His ability to get up from the turf and quickly release the ball makes up for his awkwardness at third.He has the athletic ability, speed and reflexes to handle third.
      I think that once he learns the proper postioning,he’ll be fine.
      He’s only been playing third for just over a year.
      Cut him some slack for now.

      • Exactly. Led Yunel look good in the field. Third base is about making the play, not making it look sexy. Let Lawrie’s SLG% do that.

      • i agree, lets give him a break on his fielding …

        BUT his talent for making outstanding plays overshadows his struggle with more routine plays … he has great range to his left, but not so great to his right … his footwork when he has to move to either side is not pretty, and is it just me or has he been getting eaten up on a lot of sharp liners lately?

        he looks like VW flailing at outside breaking balls but im willing to chalk it up to his over anxiousness with the start of the season

        generally he is a great baserunner and has so much talent and athletic ability so we must be patient, but i.m a bit worried

        nice to see somebody not affiliated with the rogers hype machine speak the truth

    • Buck and Tabby are ridiculous about Lawrie. They’re already giving him the gold glove award just because George Brett had nice things to say. So far, I’ve seen Lawrie being terrible with his leather, but capable of compensating for it out of pure energy.

      I like Lawrie and I think he’s good for the team. Hopefully he doesn’t take too long to get his hitting back in the groove.

    • This is his walk-off vs. the Red Sox from last year: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18874035&c_id=mlb

      This is his HR vs. the Rays from last week: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20700025&c_id=mlb

      Looks like, if anything, he’s opened his stance a bit more, no?

    • Well if we are going to have an article on his hitting based on small sample size you should at least mention he is leading the league for regular third-basemen in Range Factor, Double Plays, Total Chances, and Assists. He also only has 3 errors, Longoria has 5.

    • I wish Buck and Tabler would stop the extreme praise of all the Jays players. It’s as if my eyes are telling me one thing and my ears are telling me another. I’m sorry but it just gets unbearable at times.

      Just tell me the damn truth, and stop making shit up.

      • +1 on that…they are terrible. how about just telling some baseball stories without waxing on about how great every jay is? how about amoment of silence now and again? how about being critical from time to time…

        they are un-listen-able…

  4. Meanwhile, Colby Rasmus & Edwin Encarnacion are quietly owning the shit out of the Blue Jays lineup.

    • Encarnaaaciiooo-ooon…EncaarrnaAacio-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ooon

    • God Rasmus has made Bautista’s slow start and Lawries hyped-up technical sophomore year a bit less painful. And yeah, Edcarnacion has exceeded the expectations I had for him.

  5. It was inevitable that he didn’t continue the pace he set last year

    if you want to talk about hush hush things, lets look at bautistas slugging since the home run derby

    • Good point. Also, Lind can’t pull the ball anymore, and Morrow can’t strike anyone out anymore.

      • Hasn’t Morrow explicity stated that he’s sacrificing strikeouts for more contact, ground balls in particular and fewer pitches per batter so he can go deeper into games?

        Tao of Stieb also mentioned his lower strikeout rate with concern. His outing last night looked pretty good (albeit against the Royals)… He got more baserunners on that you’d like, but he got outs when he needed them. And while everyone’s getting good fielding, I don’t think the infield has turned that many miracles….

  6. Re: swinging at more pitches outside of the zone… I think the source of this problem might be another tendency I’ve noticed so far this year, which is that he never swings at strikes early in the at-bat. He’s let quite a few meatballs go right down the middle on the first and second pitches of at-bats, and then he’s behind and has to swing at pitches that he’d probably otherwise let go by.

    • Exactly. throw him two strikes and then third one up and away.

    • Farrell seems to have asked the whole team to take more pitches and get the starter for the opposition out of the game faster. While being a good strategy , the other teams have picked up on it and have told their pitchers to get ahead early (meatballs) and get them to chase pitches later. You can see it on Bautista’s face. He doesn’t want to lay off the early stuff.

  7. “his slash line, which is downright bummerish .279/.318/.377.”

    I’m honestly not sure if this is a joke…

  8. Based on his ridiculous speed down the 1st base line and his uncanny ability to make the most routine of groundballs a bang-bang play, I had assumed that Brett’s slash lines this season were being kept afloat by infield singles. Lo and behold, Lawrie apparently only has 3 of those this year according to Fangraphs.

    The major league leader thus far in infield singles is none other than…Edwin Encarnacion with 6! Which I find strange because I can’t remember a single one off the top of my head.

    Nevertheless, EE has complemented his infield hits with 4 dingers and at least several more off the wall.

    • I find that bizarre. I’ve watched every minute of every Jays game on TV this year except for the first KC game, and I can’t recall a single one off the top of my head, but I can definetly remember at least 2 or 3 from Lawrie.

    • They were probably ones in which he hammered them right at infielders who had no chance of fielding them cleanly. Put otherwise, they were probably less of the “leg-it-out” variety.

    • Wow, really? I too am reaching to recall even a single infield hit from EE this season.

  9. Lawrie has been the 4th best hitter on the team so far. That’s not a high bar right now admittedly, but maybe another reason he’s getting more rope.

  10. I’ve been saying this for a few days now. Just have to compare his first 25 games and his last 25 games, the numbers are much more in line with his minor league numbers. Then as I said yesterday at DJF after the game I noticed that he’s hit a ton of grounders this year – roughly 60%. The swing looks flat without the uppercut from last year that generated the power. Thames is in the same boat. Bautista is up a few percent as well. Probably doesn’t mean much, small sample sizes and all, but it’s very noticeable in Lawrie’s swing. Thankfully a lot of the hits Lawrie seems to have of late have been timely.

    At least he hasn’t let his troubles at the plate bother him in the field. Last time I checked he led the majors in runs saved

    • I’ve noticed his swing looks a little different too, but I couldnt be sure what about it is different. I had definetly noticed that his only two extra base hits so far were his recent homeruns – BUT… look at what he did in spring training, he was driving the ball just as well as he did last year. its odd.

  11. Brett seems to be very content on driving/slapping the ball to the right side with runners in scoring position. His line is .429/.389/.817 with RISP.

  12. This shit started before the season and I was never comfortable with it. Lawrie will have a great career, I think. But all this second-coming stuff is just gonna get in the way. Leave him alone and he’ll mature nicely. Right now ‘pressing’ is an understatement.

    • Well you may be right, but point the finger at the US baseball media, because they’re the ones frothing at the mouth over Lawrie more than anybody. I have to admit though, after seeing his performance last year and the incredible spring he had, i was drinking the kool aid too – I still except him to be an MVP candidate at some point in his career

  13. Lawrie’s play at 3B has been pretty wonky too. He’s made some absolutely outstanding plays (like that diving grab-to-double play he pulled off the other day), but there have been at least as many instances where he’s bobbled the ball and then had to clean up after himself. I’d guess it’s just a consequence of still being relatively new to the position, but he’s had pretty awful hands so far.

    • The thing is, he’s bobbled the ball a ton of times but ACTUALLY cleaned up after himself – he’s still made the play more often than not. Chris at Infield Fly had a nice little post about this yesterday. So that’s encouraging, at least.

      • Yeah, he’s still been able to handle the position for sure. But it feels like a lot of the praise comes for the number of close/amazing plays he’s made, and at least half of those have been a direct result of his failure to make routine plays properly in the first place.

        That said, there are very few guys in the league I’d rather have playing third base. It just seems like even when he messes up, the TV guys are heaping praise on him for it.

    • He’s definitely not smooth out there, but he gets outs. His quickness seems to both help him and hurt him. He tries to do things too fast and makes mistakes, but then he’s quick enough to recover.

      • Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it. He looks like he’s always a step or two ahead of himself out there – like somebody who ends up stuttering when they talk because they can’t keep up with their own thoughts. I expect he’ll be able to channel that energy a bit better as he continues to get more reps out there.

    • he’s not smooth, but his arm and is range are outstanding. as good as anyone playing the position? I think I’ll still take Beltre and Longoria over him defensively, but he’s probably right behind them in the next group.

    • Sure Lawrie makes some plays that seem wonky, but he also gets to balls that a majority of fielders would let right by (T1st in OOZ). He also seems to have a very strong and accurate throw to first. He and Escobar are leading the league for their positions in Range Factor, Double Plays, and Assists. I do not think that is a coincidence. I have watched all of the games so far and there have been many times when Lawrie gets to a ball that in previous years Escobar would have needed to field moving away from 1B. Escobar also leads SS in UZR and Lawrie is in 3rd for UZR.

      I would not be surprised if by the end of the season Toronto’s left side of the infield is viewed as locked down and the best in the majors.

      OH WAIT…small sample size ALERT…I am sure Lawrie will be fine and seems to be off to a good start in the field

  14. Woahh, hold on there guys. It’s true, I’m not swinging the bat very well right now, but it should also be noted that my stats with runners in scoring position are utterly fantastic, and with runners in scoring position and 2 outs, those stats are even more utterly fantastic.

  15. So which changes first, the performance or the narrative? As a Jays fan, I obviously want to see Lawrie turn it around sooner rather than later but there’s a small part of me that would take a perverse pleasure in seeing the Sporsnet broadcast crew put in th awkward position of dealing with a reality that becomes more and more divorced from the pre-conceived narrative

  16. Perhaps it’s also the fact that the rest of the fucking team is doing so much worse??? How can you complain about a guy with the 3rd best average on the team, without running out of breath at how fucking tepid the rest of the offence is???

    • That’s where the difference in AVG and SLG really starts to show and it also shows how people still continue to say a player is kicking ass because he’s got a reasonable average. Being a singles hitter is better than nothing but it’s not exactly what a team is looking from their corner infielders.

      You are right about the rest of the team not looking so great either. Their 2-3-4 hitters are all hitting .220 or less. Only EE and Rasmus have an OPS higher than .780 which is concerning.

      • Absolutely. I am not trying to say he is doing well. He has looked much worse at the plate, but it’s hard to worry about him when so many other hitters are struggling mightily.

        His slump is to be somewhat expected as well. Pitchers are challenging him completely different then last year. It will take time to adjust.

  17. From what I have noticed: Brett is best with runners on base. Especially when a game-changing situation is happening.

    I think when no one is on base, he’s hacking at everything and trying to hit every goddamn thing out before it leaves the pitcher’s hands. When there are, using the parlance of our times (man), ducks on the pond, he shortens up and has been voraciously attacking the 1b-2b hole.

    Old school baseball guys would call this “clutch.”

    But jeebus, when there’s no one on base, you can pretty much call a strikeout on him every time he comes up.

    So it fuckin’ goes, he’s a young kid still.

  18. It gives me more hope for the season that the jays are 9-6 while the bullpen has thrown away a few games, and Bautista, and Lawrie are not playing well.

    Once bats get going… watch out.

    Yes, my glass is half full :)

  19. *sticks fingers in ears*

    OOOOH! CAAAANAADAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! OUR HOME AND NAAATIIIIVE LAAANNND!!!!!

  20. not that I disagree with what you’re writing, but you’re also kind of totally wrapped up in that rasmus story line. Who doesn’t want to see both these guys succeed?

    your Rasmus is getting a bunk-deal from fans storyline was interesting the first time. the 2nd time not so much, the 3rd, 4th, 5th, kind of totally annoying and now its at the point where its kinda bullshit. Like who are these rabid fans/media calling for Rasmus’ head right now? That story/sentiment seems sufficiently (and thankfully) buried for the moment. Time to move on. Find a real story perhaps?

    and its kind of pretty oh so convenient the specific moment that you decided to make an implied lawrie vs. Rasmus comparison…coming right after Rasmus pulls his results up via one helluva game while Lawrie dips significantly below .300 for the first time.

    kind of a totally contrived convenient timing.

    your concerns about Lawrie are warranted. But only so far about as much as they are about Bautista as well..who continues to swing at just about anything as well low and outside the zone…practically pulling an Aron Cibia clone. Who, speaking of which, also looks really crappy out there offensively 7/10 games.

    It’s early. Yeah yeah. we keep hearing that. and I definitely believe that and am onboard. But at some point I hope the team starts to take a bit of a critical eye and think about whether its still ‘early’…before it becomes totally not ‘early’ any longer.

    So far this team is looking pretty shaky, to be honest. Thus far this team isn’t quite cooking with the same fire of that 2010 team…still a bit of a recent high-water mark. Kind of a case of over-achievers that year, I know. But it was kind of exciting. I know you don’t like to admit that that 2010 team actually kinda was pretty interesting and great…because of the blind Cito hatred you have…but uh…well..so far the jays have yet to field a team that has put up better results with as much consistency. so far the 2012 team is one with great potential…but a lot of question marks and seems to be lacking consistency. I really hope they capitalize on all this potential! but definitely there are serious concerns about:

    Morrow (sorry buds. know you love him. but lets get real here. he’s got PROBLEMS so far).
    Aron Cibia (7/10 at-bats he looks pretty bad at the plate).
    Santos (and it just keeps getting more worrisome)
    Lawrie
    Bautista
    Thames (defensively it just ain’t great. we can all agree).

    and then Johnson / Rasmus / Lind keep waffling between being ok 1 game / not so hot the next.

    its looking a bit shaky out there so far.

    It was a much more convincing team when you had Marcum / Romero / Cecil (when he still had the stuff) / Morrow out there. and maaaaaan….do we miss Downs huh? yeah remember him? he kinda ruled actually. and Molina was better than most people give him credit for.

    I totally want to see this team get up to par. I’m not being a naysayer here…but so long as your supposedly talking ‘real talk’ here…let’s admit it that its a bit tenuous so far and once and for all you are going to have to admit sometime that Cito wasn’t as bad as you like to imagine….

    • Not to put a co-worker on blast but this and this are examples of the kind of comments I see ALL THE TIME.

      • i dunno. its just that the games I’ve been to so far no one boos the guy and they cheer his good at-bats and his hits and his catches. I haven’t exactly seen Rasmus shirts there yet, its true, but I think the Rasmus hate story is starting to become a bit exaggerated. I’m not convinced that the majority of fans are still buying Zaun’s lazy-farmboy BS.

      • no link ?

  21. oh 1 more thing:

    has anyone done any stats analysis of Bautista at-bats with Runners On vs. no runners on?

    call it wild speculation…but I suspect as much as I totally love love love Jose…that he should not be batting in clean up.

    I suspect his power numbers lean very heavily towards situations with no one on base….

    • “Like who are these rabid fans/media calling for Rasmus’ head right now?”
      – go to the bluejays message board for starters. There are several active threads

      “your concerns about Lawrie are warranted. But only so far about as much as they are about Bautista as well..who continues to swing at just about anything as well low and outside the zone…practically pulling an Aron Cibia clone”
      – You mean the Bautista who is still getting on base something 38% of the time?

      “It’s early. Yeah yeah. we keep hearing that. and I definitely believe that and am onboard. But at some point I hope the team starts to take a bit of a critical eye and think about whether its still ‘early’…before it becomes totally not ‘early’ any longer.”
      - yup I’m in agreement here I guess

      “do we miss Downs huh? ”
      - love downs. but not for the price he commands as a FA. We have Jansen and others.

      “Cito wasn’t as bad as you like to imagine….”
      – yes he was. the team probably won despite him.

      “that he should not be batting in clean up.”
      – pretty sure Bautista has yet to bat cleanup this year.

  22. Hey you guys! Adam Lind is batting 7th today!

    https://twitter.com/#!/BlueJays/status/194506688584359936/photo/1

  23. Meh. Brett is still on pace for a 5.4 fWAR, for whatever that’s worth after 15 games (not much). That’s pretty good for a 22-year old who is scuffling hard.

    Also, his fugly .098 ISO is unsustainable. Shit will get turned around quick.

  24. Saw a hilarious pregame interview with Lawrie the other day. Apparently his pregame routine involves going into the sauna fully clothed in his uniform while slamming a Red Bull. I kind of felt like he was making it up just to entertain us.

    I’m not too worried about Lawrie yet. His defense has looked pretty good so far, and it is a little early to question his batting #’s.

  25. Not that its wrong to worry about this, but I think the simplest answer is…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dw9qqvm-LT8

  26. This is all very anecdotal, but I seem to notice Lawrie being a lot more off balance this year than last. I’ve noticed him finishing swings on one foot, one hand on the bat… something just doesn’t SEEM as settled at the plate (for Lawrie) as it was last year. Again, all anecdotal, and early.

  27. Does this mean they aren’t going rename the team the Toronto Brett Lawrie’s?

    I figured that was inevitable with the way Buck, Pat and Zaun suffocate us with their fawning over Lawrie’s all-around incredible ability to avoid a ball while running the bases, field a routine ground ball and just be the best all around 3rd baseman, I’m pretty sure, in the history of Major League Baseball.

  28. Yes, his tendency to swing at ball outside the zone has increased, but his O-Swing% is still lower than the league average. You can’t reasonably expect him to have a superlative approach 60 games into his big league career.

    And while a meteoric jump in GB% is ostensibly disconcerting, a nominal increase in line-drive rate pretty much assuages those fears.

    Frankly, his stone hands are much more of a concern to me.

    But man, that exuberance is sexy.

  29. Don’t worry Drew, all it will take for Lawrie to stop swinging at balls outside the zone is a call from AA!

  30. This entire post seems very alarmist. It’s been 15 games…our 22 year old third baseman has been satisfactory…this doesn’t seem like a concern at all. I feel like you’re just trying to stir up some shit to create controversy. I also feel like you’re just trying to confirm the fact that you said Lawrie could not live up to expectations by jumping on the first shred of evidence that you could possibly slip by your readers as confirmation of your ‘genius’. If after a month or two, he’s still not getting extra base hits and swinging out of the zone, then maybe, ya, he’s been a bit of a let down. But after 15 games, this post is just plain stupid. Must have been a light news day…you’re no different than the other columnists/bloggers that rip on Colby, or hate AA for not making offseason moves…you’re making wild conclusions based on small sample sizes and select evidence. It’s 15 games pal…he’s got 147 more to make things better.

    • What conclusions are you referring to? This one?

      Brett Lawrie will be fine. But right now he isn’t. And that is okay. Let’s just admit it is happening and wait for the day his numbers improve.

      That must be the one.

      • Shame on you for leaving those remarks to the last paragraph. How can you expect anyone to get that far when they are engulfed by the flames of righteous indignation early on in the article.

      • i’m referring to the first 10 paragraphs that seem alarmist, and, well, pointless…

        your last paragraph that you posted is 100% accurate though.

        • Holy fuck, try reading them again, RickyRo24: nothing alarmist in the slightest, and cautions about how early it is and how good Lawrie will ultimately be at every turn.

          • maybe these blogs should just shut down until the end of the season? that way we can keep this bullshit to a minimum, watch the actual games, and then add up who was right and who was wrong when the numbers are final.

            otherwise, all this jays-blogosphere bullshit is simply, bullshit.

          • you’re right, a lot of positives too, i’m just saying the article in general is kinda pointless and is just stirring up controversy.

            and.

            “There seems to be an alarming trend towards swinging at pitches out of the zone”

            seems ‘alarmist’ to me.

      • I agree, this article seems pointless. You guys do a lot of interesting stuff that mainstream guys won’t touch, but this is reaching a bit. I know you covered your ass with that last comment about Lawrie, but what gets me is the emphasis you guys place on douche bags who look at small sample sizes – and then you go and reference it in your own article. Lawrie is playing a whole heck of a lot better than friggin Nix played last year – lets just enjoy that.
        If you were to ask the two stooges, Buck and Pat, you would think that Lawrie is the best player to ever play baseball. Maybe they’ll bum rush him when he really starts to heat up.

    • Well, yes, small sample size small sample sample size, but here’s the thing. So many people seem to have been expecting Brett Lawrie to EXPLODE off the top of the season given his production last year that it is a bit of an abrupt call to temper said expectations.

      He is swinging at stuff out of the zone. Bautista’s been hacking at some pitches too. This sort of thing happens. I think what Drew’s saying, though, and I said this on Twitter somewhere too, is that Lawrie’s not doing so hot (just as Bautista isn’t doing so hot – both facts) and that we should actually admit this fact without getting totally worked up about its Huge Season Implications, because there really aren’t any implications at all yet. Lawrie will be fine. If he’s not fine, it will have been decided much, much later than April.

    • “Must have been a light news day…”

      Probably the Leafs aren’t playing. lol

  31. Nice piece Drew, now hurry up and do a piece on Pujols before he gets hot will ya?

  32. Thanks for pissing on my Cornflakes. Now I think Brett Lawrie sucks! I am never going to watch baseball ever again, and the Blue Jays are the worst team ever!

    Is that the reaction you were looking for???

  33. Holy fuck. Some serious falls off the wagon going on here.

    Gimme a freaking break. Lawrie struggling? Hittting .280ish with a respectable amount of runs batted in is far from under performing.

    Yeah, he,s not hitting as good as he can, as so is Bautista. There’s also some 140 baseball games left.

    So fuck right off with the sky is falling posts. Seeing the ball takes time and at bats, some years its takes longer than others.

    • Batting average and rbi? Troll fail, friend.

      • First off, what in tarnation is a troll fail?

        Secondly, yes average and RBI’s. I havent checked cause Im kinda fuckin lazy, but he has contributed.

        I just dont think there is even a story here, with all do respect.

  34. anybody that hits .279 in a slump is really, really good at baseball.

  35. another toronto media asshole. i’ve had a rough 10 years trying to cheer a home team, now that there is a little fuckin hope and enthusiasm you have to rip a new asshole.they are finding a way to win.numbers dont mean shit if you lose.now try a little harder to stop pissing me off

  36. This whole post is trolling. Funny Drew doesn’t reference any stats in this post. Or mention the cocks over at bleacher report posted something (I assume) similar (I only read the title, I can’t be bothered giving BR any sort of page views).

  37. Judging by some of the comments I think it’s official, Drew Fairservice has touched the third rail of Blue Jay Fandom.

  38. Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit Colby Rasmus sucks

  39. “Brett Lawrie is going to be a superb Major League Baseball player. He is only 22-years old. The sky is the limit. He is a star and the consummate showman and all that good stuff.”
    - Second Paragraph

    “Brett Lawrie looks like freakbeast doing each and every one of them. ”
    - Fourth Paragraph

    “It is very early, of course. Too early to worry and too early to contemplate the various “adjustments” required of a player getting to know the league”
    - Sixth Paragraph

    “Like everything written here, not cause for concern as much as a factoid worth a mental note.”
    - Seventh Paragraph

    “Again: still early”
    - Ninth Paragraph

    “Brett Lawrie will be fine. But right now he isn’t. And that is okay. Let’s just admit it is happening and wait for the day his numbers improve. Wait for patient approach to return and then the walks will return to previous levels (2012 walk rate is almost half 2011) and watch as the doubles and triples roll in. They will. But, for now, they aren’t. Just thought you should now, you know?”
    - Final Paragraph

    Nearly every fucking other paragraph either praised Lawrie’s future or reminded readers of it being early/small sample size. That’s the most optimistic “sky is falling” article I’ve ever written. For fuck sakes people, learn how to read.

    • Then, either piss or shit. Dont be ambigous, that shits for highschool cheerleaders.

    • Then what was the point? In a way the premise of the article cancels itself out.

  40. Agree completely with everything in this post.
    His lack of walks concerns me the most. Not so much that he only has 3, with so few ABs the actual number isn’t all that important, but you can see his over-agressive approach at the plate with an unwillingness to take a walk.
    Id love to see him just take a step back from trying to kill the ball for a few days and work on taking some walks, not swing at pitches outside the strikezone, and force pitchers to make good pitches to get him out. Right now it doesn’t seem like they need to.

  41. hmmmm, does this advertising padding of an article get written if Drew was still doing GhostRunner on First? i doubt it.

    the problem with these now “professional” writers being on the score is that they have to write a certain amount of content regardless of the quality.

    congrats Drew! your a top student at the bob mccown school of shock journalism.

    1.make a controversial thesis “He’s also off to a downright awful start to the season”
    2. spit out some data that conveniently leaves out any evidence to the contrary.
    3. escape without too much blow back by saying close to what should have been the original thesis (the actual truth of the matter) “Brett Lawrie will be fine. But right now he isn’t. And that is okay.”

    comb your mccown-esque beard!

    • the problem with these now “professional” writers being on the score is that they have to write a certain amount of content regardless of the quality.

      I wish you knew how hilarious it is that you wrote this.

      Actual scene from the office yesterday: Director of Content walks over to Stoeten’s desk to talk to him about this piece. When informed I wrote it, he says “oh? You’re righting for DFJ? How often? That’s awesome.”

      I wrote it because I was surprised at hos lackluster his numbers are and because I am concerned with his approach.

      BTW, here is a Bob McCowan-esque piece from the GROF days for you to chew on.

  42. Lawrie’s swinging at more out of zone pitches this year, and his walk rate is down. He’s also been just a singles hitter. The line drive % is up a bit, which is nice, but the groundball % is up HUGE.

    I have little concern though. This is after all just his first full season and he’s nearly a rookie. The bat speed is still there.

    What’s weird is he hasn’t hit a single double yet. With his line drive swing and good speed, that has to be a crazy fluke. He’ll end up hitting a bunch of those before long.

    Defensively yeah his hands are not what you call soft, but a good arm and terrific range and quickness are making up for it. I don’t really see Lawrie’s defense being a problem either.

    Overall he’s been cromulent.

  43. Said about Brett Lawrie on April 12th and 13th:

    “Brett Lawrie is a player that other players like to watch” – B. Martinez

    “Look at his hands. His hands are soooo good!” – P. Tabler

    “”Lawrie’s motor is always runnin’” – B. Martinez

    It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve heard either gentlemen put forward such virile senitment. The bloom is definitely off the rose.

  44. anyone notice that he’s using a bigger bat? Could that have something to do with it

    • Thats inquisitive. Bigger barrell? I kinda thought so too. I think he’s still swinging BWP’s, but the lumbah looks slumbah.

      • Seemed so much more effortless from him last year, when he was using a smaller bat. I think he’s trying to do too much, his bat this year is way bigger

  45. Obviously the reality check was too soon..too soon bro. I am going back to happy land now…:)

    • And that’s why as annoying as constantly quoting “small sample size” can be, it is true. One game later Lawrie is OPSing 744. Not great but hardly “cause for concern”. Though points about his apparently lack in patience still stand.

      • FWIW, that .744 is 93rd amongst qualified players. Essentially makes him on average the 4th best hitter on a first division team and 3rd best on a second division team. He’s currently the fifth best qualified hitter on the Jays so good news all around.

        And of course, he’s only going to Improve.

  46. Fantastic piece. I’ve been telling people for weeks that Lawrie needs to “simmer the fuck down”…he’s totally forcing the action right now, and he’s worse when he does that.

    This is why the Brewers let him go…he gets a big head and doesn’t listen to coaches. I think they need to be harder on him.

    • Kind of agree on the simmer thing but at the same time Pete Rose Simmered his way to 4,256 hits and Lawrie truly may have that potential, in fact I think we won’t know for a few years what type of ballplayer he’ll be. Just that it looks to be about 80% odds that he’s going to be pretty special.

      The Brewers let Lawrie go because they were in a win now mode and getting a near ace straight up for a guy they weren’t going to use was a must do deal.

      He’s shown to be quite coachable as evidenced by his added patience last year after being asked to, and while he doesn’t have a ton of walks thus far he is up there in the leaderboard of pitches seen thus far along with guys like Bautista, Encarnacion, Johnson and such so he appears to be going with the game plan which just add to the thought that he isn’t fighting his coaches.

      There were some lame ducks early but I’ve noticed a number of hot shots of late that if he went all Juan Pierre and hit more slow rollers and Baltimore chops, he’d probably be hitting .330 right now thanks to the extra infield hits.

  47. [...] was early in the season when I posted a “what up with Brett Lawrie” thing which was promptly shit on. It was still early and he is still very young were two very [...]

  48. [...] was early in the season when I posted a “what up with Brett Lawrie” thing which was promptly shit on. It was still early and he is still very young were two very [...]

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