Lawrie Making Smooth Transition To Third Base
TORONTO — This was an important spring training for the organization because of the progress made by many young prospects.
None was more impressive than Brett Lawrie, 21, who was obtained from the Brewers for righthander Shaun Marcum in December.
Lawrie played second base at Double-A Huntsville, where he batted .285/.346/.451 with eight home runs and 30 stolen bases. When the Blue Jays acquired him, they decided to move him to third base and, so far, the transition has gone smoothly.
The native of Langley, B.C. fit right in with his new teammates at spring training, where he lived with catcher J.P. Arencibia and outfielder Travis Snider, who both know the pressures involved with being a first-round draft pick.
"I think the best way to put it is he is a competitor," Snider said. "Whatever he does he competes. As a teammate you love to see that in a guy, especially a young kid with that amount of talent."
Manager John Farrell talked about Lawrie's "intensity" and "explosiveness."
"He makes a statement just in the way he plays the game," Farrell said. "He doesn't have to talk. His actions and his play speak loudly."
"You temper everything with spring training," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Forget the performance, the hits and the defensive plays, it's the way he's carried himself, the way he's handled himself."
Third base is not entirely new for Lawrie. He played some there for Canada's junior national team.
The Brewers made him the highest Canadian position player to be picked in the draft when they took him in the first round (16th overall) in 2008.
Throughout spring training, Lawrie put in extra time with third base coach and infield instructor Brian Butterfield.
"Those are the little things that will help get me there," Lawrie said. "I think if I continue to do that, I should get there sooner."
• Righthander Kyle Drabek won his first game in his fourth major league start April 2, holding the Twins to one hit and one run over seven innings.
• Rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia, who hit two home runs in his major league debut last Aug. 7, hit two home runs opening night on April 1.