One of the Brewers' best young catching prospects has now become one of the teams best young prospects at second base. Milwaukee's first-round draft choice of 2008, Brett Lawrie, has requested the position switch after playing through an instructional league last fall.
Lawrie doesn't seem to be joking around about his intentions to get to the big leagues as fast as possible.
He has noted that there is a lot more preparation into making the big leagues as a catcher, and despite how much he loves the position, the 19-year-old Canadian sees a quicker jump to the "bigs" as an infielder.
With a few real good second basemen in the Brewers system, plus the struggles of Rickie Weeks, Lawrie sees this to be the easier competition than the likes of catchers Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy.
I don't really think the competition has anything to do with it though. Personally, I think this is the case of a young kid wanting to have as long of a career as possible, who sees more benefit in playing the infield than roughing up his knees behind home plate.
You shouldn't really make position switches based on the players in front of you in the organization—in my opinion—especially when you are as green as Lawrie is.
Realistically, his shot of reaching the "bigs" as a catcher could be just the same as a second basemen. You never know how the personnel at either position will shape out, or who might move positions (I still see either Hardy or Escobar at second after we finally give up on Weeks).
I say you just play your hardest at your position, and eventually you will either make the majors with the team who's organization you belong to, or you will get traded and start for another team.
I'm not saying this is a bad move. The kid is a talented ballplayer and I think he'll excel at whichever position he plays. I just think he'd rather play second base than play catcher, even though he entered the draft as a catcher because he figured he'd get drafted higher at the position.
I don't know how the Brewers' front office feels about the move, but I'd be kind of pissed if I thought I was getting a player at one position, only to find out I'm getting him at another. If the Brewers wanted a second basemen, they would have drafted one.
Reading this over, I feel I'm coming off anti-Lawrie a bit, even though that isn't my intention. I just feel he may have pulled a fast one on the Brewers. We'll see in a couple years though, I guess.
Lawrie will leave minor-league camp in a couple of days to go play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Meanwhile, the big league club he aspires to one day be a part of, starts their exhibition season on Wednesday, when they take on the Oakland A's.