Confident Lawrie 'Ready' For Big Leagues

TORONTO — Brett Lawrie does not lack confidence for someone who has not played above Double-A.

"I'm ready (for the major leagues), there's no doubt in my mind that I'm ready," the 20-year-old native of Langley, B.C., said in one of his first interviews after he was acquired from the Brewers for righthander Shaun Marcum.

"I'm pretty good at minor league baseball so I think it's time to (take) a shot at major league baseball," he said in another interview. "So my goal is to try and break with the team out of spring training and see what I can do."

"He is a very driven, focused, confident young man," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "And I think when you combine that with his ability, that is what makes him a great player.  On the upside, the ceiling, he is an all-star caliber player, at least the way the scouts talk about it."

The Blue Jays have always been interested in Lawrie, a righthanded hitter. They were interested in drafting him in 2008 but the Brewers picked before them and took him with the 16th selection overall, the highest a Canadian hitter has been drafted.

He hit .285/.346/.451 with eight home runs, 63 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 43 attempts at Double-A Huntsville in 2010. As the second-youngest regular in the Southern League,  he led the league in runs (90), hits (158), triples (16) and total bases (250).

Formerly a catcher, he moved to second base where he still has work to do as indicated by his 25 errors in 2010. There is talk that he could  be an outfielder in the majors.

Anthopoulos wants to see more before making that determination.

"From a position standpoint, he's played second base," he said. "We looked at him potentially also playing third base because we think the tools are there to translate. But those are things that will be determined in spring training once we get to know him a little bit more and watch him on a day-to-day basis."


• The Blue Jays lost infielder Brad Emaus to the Mets in the Rule 5 draft. Emaus, 24, hit .290/.397/.476 with 15 home runs and 75 RBIs last season between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas.

• Righthander Henderson Alvarez pitched well for La Guaira in the Venezeualan Winter League, going 0-1, 2.13 with 27 strikeouts and 16 walks over 42 innings.