10 Reasons to call up Brett Lawrie NOW
1) AAA is bunk.
Why do we even have all these stupid minor-league levels, anyway? Name me ONE hot Jays prospect not named Rios, Lind, or Snider that had any problems adapting to the majors after fast-tracking through AAA. Preparing for the major leagues via a carefully-planned and long-established series of steadily-increasing levels of difficulty is the worst idea Branch Rickey came up with other than the batting helmet.
2) 3B is easy.
From what I remember watching Scott Rolen, it’s the simplest position ever. The ball flies into your glove so fast you barely even have to move your feet. Lawrie should be able to adapt almost instantly as there’s no real difference between third and second other than the throw across the diamond, the speed of the ball, the angle off the bat, charging bunts, the hops, the dives, instincts and skills required. I flipped Lawrie across the diamond in my copy of MLB: The Show and in his first game he was laying out on shots ripped into the hot corner like he’d been doing it all his life. And that game isn’t just realistic — it’s ultra realistic.
3) The Jays are in contention.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH….ok, sorry. I’m really sorry. Tried to keep a straight face for that one, I really did. Alan Ashby is going to have to step in here for a second while I catch my breath and get rid of the giggles. Hee hee…in contention. Whoooooooo. Boy.
Ok, I’m good.
4) You can tell just about everything about a player’s level of readiness from 25 spring at-bats.
Some pitchers aren’t throwing anything but fastballs at this point of spring – and during the major-league season, there are more fastballs thrown than any other pitch. So it’s a truer test, really. Also, 25 at-bats is a small enough sample size that there’s not a lot of noise. I mean, has anyone ever had this Gross a spring training, only to have the hype fade almost instantly?
5) Scouts are stupid.
Raw talent? Needs some more time? Questionable hands? You morons. I have HIGH DEF on my TV, and I’m pretty sure I can tell when a swing is ready for the bigs. I haven’t actually seen him make any plays in the field yet, but they sounded all-star caliber over the radio. I don’t need some loser ex-player who has nothing better to do than follow baseball players around night and day, creeping around minor-league parks to see them first-hand so he can use his vast “experience” and extensive baseball “knowledge” to tell me what’s what.
6) Kid needs to be taken down a notch.
Lawrie comes with a certain cocky attitude, which is really the sort of thing you want to beat out of a player by putting them in over their head as soon as possible. There could be a long-term attitude benefit in crushing him mentally this year, and his kind of faux-bravado personality would almost certainly respond to failure and demotion well. An added bonus would be if Lawrie hit so poorly for the first month the team was forced to choose between “giving up” on him by sending him back to the minors, or platooning him with Encarnacion for a while. Part-time play is so frustrating and difficult that it teaches a player how much they want to avoid it at all costs. Which makes them try harder. Which makes them play better. Works every time.
7) Get that clock running!
Everyone knows that players typically have their best seasons in “contract” years, i.e. right before they hit the free agent market. The Jays need Lawrie at their best when they are ready to compete; can they really wait six whole years to get the best out of him? Best to get Lawrie’s clock running as soon as possible — he will be hitting his power years in 2016 and with a little financial motivation could slam the door hard on his way out of town.
8. The Jays don’t need contractual control anyway.
On the other hand, the Jays don’t have to let Lawrie walk when that time comes. Rogers has a gabillion dollars, and since they’re a publicly-traded company I’m pretty sure AA is free to spend as much of shareholder’s money as he wants (since most of them are from Toronto). Anyway…there’s no need to worry about being thrifty or careful in managing control of potential future stars, since the Jays can always keep them around. Again and again, management has shown a willingness to commit to signing home-grown players no matter the cost to long-term extensions in order to keep them in Toronto until it’s time to give them away to teams that can actually afford those contracts.
9) He’s done with the minors.
Players always know best when they’re ready. Especially super-young, comically-confident ones. Nobody knows better than Brett Lawrie if he’s ready for the majors. Except his coaches. And I’d give it to the professional evaluators, too. Ok, probably some other players with way more experience of what it’s really like. Maybe some really good stats guys. Ok, there are many, many, people who know better than Brett Lawrie if he’s ready for the majors. But that’s beyond the point. He’s a pure athlete.
10) Zero downside.
It’s not like there is anything to lose by rushing a young prospect. Offhand, I can’t think of a single third-base prospect who had his development completely retarded to the point of almost ruining his career by a team that threw him into the majors way too early, causing him to bounce around for years as a washout journeyman before finally getting the time and training he needed to break out long after his original team had given up on him and traded him for nothing. (Bautista came up as an outfielder, smartass).
And hey, if the Jays hurt his development by getting greedy in a meaningless season for a slight upgrade at a position we’re paying 2.5 million to fill already, who cares? They have plenty of other hot prospects, or can always just trade another front-line starter for one. Lawrie is expendable.