It 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 common (and completely fair) counterpoints.
Nearly two months later, Lawrie’s numbers still lag behind the expectations/wishcasting of a desperate fanbase. Where is the power? Why so many groundballs? Can you go a little easier on the caught stealing, bruh? At no point should this concern be confused with disappointment but…his persistent struggles remain a little puzzling.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus turned the old Bob Elliott classic “turn some quotes from scouts into a column trick” this morning, with most attention given to minor leaguers (with an assist from DJF’s own Bradly Ankrom!)
There is one nugget on a big leaguer at the end…the starting third baseman for your Toronto Blue Jays, Brett Lawrie.
After quoting Lawrie’s quizzical slash line (.279/.327/.382!), Goldstein gets into the good stuff.
“He’s a piece of work. The guy has one gear, and it’s full and it’s constant,” said an NL scout doing advance work. “He’s just so intense, and it leads to some good things, but also bad things like chasing balls out of the zone. How do you calm a guy like that down? Do you calm a guy like that down? Because it might take something away from him. Still, he might be overloading himself and you have to wonder if it’s affecting his game, and then it’s a problem.”
The pitch f/x numbers on Lawrie are rather telling: more offspeed stuff and chasing more pitches outside the strikezone. Lawrie is doing himself no favours, expanding his zone and swinging at more pitches that he, frankly, shouldn’t.
How many times have we mentioned/fawned over the quote from last season, where the braintrust told him to take more pitches and he did without question. If it was so simple then it would terrific if he could flip that switch again, wouldn’t it?