He isn't just ridiculous in the way people of a certain vintage use "ridiculous" to indicate excellence or excitement, though that is obviously true. He is also ridiculous in that he is a mass of twitchy muscle fibers that just can't still, a cartoon character version of an ADHD kid. He makes me laugh - and not always with him. He is a walking spectacle, the living embodiment of "COME AT ME, BRO!"
But mocking an excitable 21-year old isn't my intention here. This post is all about praise for Brett Lawrie - Professional Hitter.
It is still quite early but Brett Lawrie can help, well, anything. Everything might be a better description. Look at the pitches and locations he has drive for extra base hits in his 60 PA big league career.
Inside, outside, upside down! Lefties try to sneak fastballs under his hands? MASHED! Try to get him off-balance with a slider when you're Michael Pineda? MASHED!
As the sample size grows to nearly worth mentioning, Lawrie still sits with a outside the zone swing rate under 20%. For somebody who both hits for power and limits strikeouts (as Lawrie looks like he just might) that is extremely positive.
The hits in huge spots are really something else entirely. Lawrie already ranks third on the Jays in WPA. Huge, huge hits from a kid too young and too dumb to know he's supposed to be scared.
The captain is just about ready to turn off the "Reasonable Expectations" sign - what kind of a ceiling can we graft onto Lawrie at this point? Ryan Braun? Sounds about right. Ian Kinsler might be a more accurate, if not conservative, guess. Speed and power with excellent plate control. I don't even know anymore.
The energy, the histrionics, whatever. He can hit. He is even better at the plate (so far) than most of us believed. It is like a dream. Growing menace, indeed.
Getty Image by Abelimages courtesy of Daylife. Pitch F/X data courtesy of Joe Lefkowitz.