Thursday, February 6, 2014

Safe or Short Leash: Brett Lawrie

Starting Second Baseman:

Brett Lawrie:

Pros:

A lot of people think he's going to be really, really good someday. He is very young (24) so in theory he should be getting better and better. He has some position flexibility (also eligible at third base) if he needs to be moved around the line-up. He's played pretty well defensively in his 275 major league games. He has hit double figure home runs and is eligible at second base which doesn't have that many power options. As a former Brewers minor league player, he was part of the trade that allowed the Brewers to get a couple solid years out of Shaun Marcum which helped get the Brewers to the playoffs a couple years ago.

Cons:

He has yet to fulfill the potential everyone says he has nor play more than 125 games in a season. He has struggled to stay healthy. He has posted slightly below average OPS+ totals the last couple seasons. He has yet to fulfill said potential to be a great player that everybody has.

Comparison Analysis:

His most similar player through age 23 is Andy Carey. In his age 24 season, Carey struggled badly getting a .649 OPS and finishing with a 97 OPS+. While I think Lawrie is a shoo-in to put up better numbers than that for both 2014 and his career, I'm not quite sure he's a shoo-in to spend the entire season with a starting gig on my fantasy team.

Safe or Short Leash:

As the season starts, he's going to be on a short leash.  I think he's a better player than the player on the top of his comparison list. However, he has yet to put together a complete season and it seems like he'll get injured at some point which makes it likely that i'll have to keep an eye on other available second basemen out there.

Second Baseman Added To The Watch List:

Kelly Johnson
Nick Franklin
Omar Infante
Jordy Mercer
Anthony Rendon
Scooter Gennett