Brett Lawrie: Is He Still a Year Away from Being a Star for Toronto Blue Jays?

Ramy EljawharyContributor IIApril 23, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 14:  Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws to first during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles April 14, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

For the amount of coverage that has already been bestowed upon him, Toronto Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie appears to have already been granted rock-star status.

He has drawn comparisons to Hall of Famers and current superstars who are also locks for Cooperstown.

The 22-year-old British Columbia native has produced at every level he’s played in, including his call-up with the Jays last season, where he posted a .293 average, with nine home runs and 25 RBI in 150 at-bats.

And Lawrie is off to a solid 2012 start for the Blue Jays. As of April 23, he is batting .279 with two homers and 11 RBI through 15 games played.  

Could he break out as early as this season? Absolutely, he has all the tools to be a force for many years to come. His combination of power and speed should one day allow him to join the 30-30 club, which has been accomplished only twice in team history (Shawn Green with 35 HR and 35 SB in 1998, and Jose Cruz Jr. with 34 HR and 32 SB in 2001).  

If we were to project his power and speed numbers at his current pace for the entire season, then he would finish with 21 home runs, 118 RBI, and 21 stolen bases, which would unquestionably position him alongside the game's current stars.

However, we must keep in mind that he’s just 22 and realize that most players do not produce at the same clip as they did in the minors.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos was level-headed when discussing his star third-base prospect. From Greg Chisholm and

"I'm cautiously optimistic, because I just know from experience with young players that they don't always just hit the ground running and don't stop," Anthopoulos said.  “The league will have to adjust to him, and he’ll have to adjust back.”

"I thought the quality of his at-bats were outstanding. That being said, I don't think it's fair to take the stats he had last year and try to prorate them over 500 at-bats. That's probably not going to happen."

He appears to have picked up right where he left off prior to breaking his finger on September 21, which prematurely ended his 2011 season. There is no doubting Lawrie's abilities, and if he can play at a similar clip for the remainder of the season, then his rise to stardom may already be in full swing.