Brett Lawrie, the Milwaukee Brewers’ top draft pick in the 2008 draft, has been promoted from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to the Double-A Huntsville Stars. He is bypassing a level by skipping over advanced Class A level, Brevard County.
Lawrie has performed quite well for the Timber Rattlers this season. In 105 games this season, Lawrie hit .274 with 13 homers, 18 doubles, and 65 RBI. He also stole 19 bases and adjusted quite well to switching positions from catcher to second base.
When asked earlier this year about his future with the Timber Rattlers and in the Brewers organization, Lawrie didn’t mix his words.
“I’ve proven I can play at this level and have success. I made the All-Star team and the transition to second base hasn’t been an issue. I don’t know what the (Brewers) policy is on moving up first-year players, but I feel I’m ready for the next level.”
Lawrie has a world of talent and the self-confidence to back up his play. He is slated for the Fall Instructional League for the Brewers. A good last month with Huntsville as well as in the Fall league, and he could be on the cusp of making Triple-A Nashville in 2010.
From the Brewers’ standpoint, a more likely scenario would see Lawrie play all of 2010 in Huntsville and spend the 2011 season in Nashville. Rickie Weeks becomes a free agent after that season, and Lawrie could step into the starting job at second base for the Brewers on Opening Day 2012.
Lawrie will be replaced on the Timber Rattlers roster by Mike Brownstein, a 14th round draft choice in this past year’s draft. Brownstein had been with the Helena team in the Pioneer League. In 43 games this year Brownstein hit .303 with 22 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He also struck out only 19 times while walking 27 times, a significant achievement for a player at any level.
While the loss of a talent like Lawrie will hurt the team on the field, it’s the life of a minor league baseball team. The minor league teams are at the mercy of the major league team. A good move for a player and the Brewers is a bad move for the T-Rats.