Brett Lawrie turns 30 today.
We picked him up from the Brewers in trade for Shaun Marcum. We thought we got the better part of the deal, but the trade didn’t really work out for either team.
He came up to the Jays in August of 2011, after having had a couple of injuries in Triple-A that slowed his ascent to the majors (foreshadowing). He was terrific. Played in 43 games. Hit .293/.373/.580 in 43 games. I remember someone arguing with me that he should have been Rookie of the Year, because he had a 3.6 bWAR and the ROY, Jeremy Hellickson, had a 3.8 bWAR, pitching a full season with the Rays. I get in the silliest arguments.
The sad part was that that was the best we’d get out of him.
2012 he hit .273/.324/.405 in 125 games (the most he’d play for us in a season). 2013 it was .254/.315/.397 in 107 games. Then .247/.301/.421 in 70 games in 2014.
There was so much potential and we never quite got to see it.
Brett’s swing was a mass of tics and bounces at the plate. I’m sure it isn’t easy to keep your timing straight like that.
And he played full out, all the time. He couldn’t gear down. He was Red Bull fueled, go hard all the time, don’t worry about walls, go hard, kind of football mentality. The thing about football is you get a week off between games. Baseball, you play again tomorrow.
Brett was one of 2 players, that I’ve seen, who went as hard to first as he possibly could on every play (Vernon Wells was the other). He went as hard on everything as he possibly could. No surprise, he ended up with all sorts of nagging injuries. If he had learned to pick his spots......
His defense was fun to watch. All out, all the time. Lots of range. Throw hard every time. I really liked watching him play third.
I do get the feeling that Brett is the guy I’d want to sit furthest from in the clubhouse or on the bench, if I was a teammate. He doesn’t seem to have an off switch or even a volume control. I don’t do well around people like that.
As you know, we traded him, Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin to the A’s for Josh Donaldson, one of my favorite trades ever.
Brett had an ok season with the A’s, hitting .260/.299/.407, then was traded off to the White Sox. He hit .248/.310/.413, in 94 games there. After a couple of years away from the game, he signed with the Brewers before last season. They were bringing him along slowly working up to game shape, but he was released before playing in any games.
Happy Birthday Brett, hope it is a good one.