2011 Fantasy Baseball Hot Prospects: Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

Jeff MansContributor IIIJune 3, 2011

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Infielder Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up for play against the Detroit Tigers February 26, 2011 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Though he is only 21 years old it seems as though Lawrie has been around forever. Drafted out of high school by Milwaukee in the first round of the 2008 draft, Lawrie has risen quickly up the rungs of the minor leagues despite being traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum last December.

Perhaps Toronto wanted Lawrie in part because he is the fourth-highest drafted Canadian of all time and was a member of Canada's 2008 Olympic Baseball team and their 2009 World Baseball Classic squad as well. Most likely we are going to see all of the reasons the Blue Jays acquired Lawrie this offseason when he is summoned to the major leagues which is expected to happen in the very near future.

Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

Height: 6'0" Weight: 215 lbs Hits: Right Throws: Right

Current Stats (AAA Las Vegas): .354/.415/.677, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 51 runs, 11 steals

Scouting Report: Originally a catcher, Lawrie asked for and was granted a position change to second base where he burst on the prospect scene in 2009. His strong arm was an asset the Blue Jays felt they could use at third base where he has played ever since coming to the organization last offseason.

Lawrie has big forearms that produce a quick whip-like swing that sends pitches on a line all over the field. He has proven to be an extra base machine in the minor leagues but will likely hit more home runs once he develops more pitch recognition and learns to sit on certain pitches.

Although he has only slightly above average speed, Lawrie reads pitchers well and gets a great jump while attempting to steal bases. He should be good for 15-plus steals in his first few seasons at the big-league level.

While his bat cannot be questioned, his defense and his makeup are both mild concerns. He is stiff and awkward on defense, not staying down on groundballs and over-throwing at times from the hot corner. He also is a bit of a playboy who seems to enjoy the nightlife and may have to be reeled in a bit on major league road trips.

2011 Analysis: Lawrie is on a season-long hot streak for Triple-A Las Vegas and will be called up to Toronto in the first week of June. He's got all the tools to compete at a high level but as with all rookies it comes down to the adjustments he makes once opposing pitchers figure out his weakness.

The Jays would do Lawrie a great service in placing him in the No. 2 spot in the lineup right in front of Jose Bautista. This would force pitchers to come right at Lawrie and would allow him to feast off fastballs, something he has done exceptionally well in the minor leagues. There is a ton of upside with Lawrie and he is without question one of the best prospects from a fantasy baseball perspective this year.

Assuming he gets regular playing time, you can expect double digit HR and SB numbers out of him this season and the fact that he will be eligible at both 2B and 3B in most leagues further adds to Lawrie's fantasy value in 2011.

Compare To: Aaron Hill, Daniel Murphy, Michael Young

Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.