Toronto Blue Jays Should Not Expect Too Much of Brett Lawrie

Paul OxenburyContributor IIIJune 8, 2011

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Infielder Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays sets 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

Since coming over from Milwaukee, a lot of expectation has been heaped on Brett Lawrie. His performances in spring training and for Triple-A Las Vegas have only fueled expectations that he will become a superstar.

However, Blue Jays fans should be slightly wary.

It’s true that Lawrie has put up outstanding numbers with Las Vegas, hitting .354/.415/1.092 with 15 home runs. While those numbers are very impressive, it must be taken into account that he plays in the notoriously hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.

To put it in some kind of context, David Cooper is currently batting .385 after hitting just .121 with Toronto.

Lawrie’s defence is a concern. He has been moved to third base this year and has committed 12 errors in 52 games. While errors are not always an accurate indicator of a player's defensive quality, especially considering the difficult infields in Las Vegas, the total is still too high for the major leagues.

It should also be remembered that Lawrie is just 21.

If the Blue Jays need reminding what can happen by rushing a promising youngster up to the majors, then they only need look at Travis Snider. 

Snider started his major league career in impressive fashion hitting .301/.338/.803 at the age of 20. Since then, Snider has shown only glimpses of his potential and was sent down starting the 2011 hitting just .184 with one home run.

His struggles have continued at Triple-A, too, slugging just .386 and again hitting just one home run.

Brett Lawrie may well come into the majors and make the kind of impact that Eric Hosmer has made for Kansas City. He may well come up and struggle. The fact is, we simply don’t know at this stage. Whatever he does, though, it is important not to put too much pressure on him and understand that it may well take time for his talent to shine through.

Blue Jays fans and management may need to be patient.