Brett Lawrie, I’m Sorry

He’s either poised for a breakout or constipated… I choose the latter
Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Let me start by saying that the young third baseman is going to be a superstar. It’s rare to see a legitimate 20/20 threat emerge at the hot corner. In a few years, the BC native will turn heads, but alas, it’s this year we worry about. Can we really expect miracles from the youngster? Can we automatically expect a breakout year? I used to think it was a given, but after mocking and analyzing the situation more thoroughly, the signs point to a dim future. With all the love going around the industry and among fans, it’s about time a skeptical approach was used on Lawrie. I’ll state it here first: Brett Lawrie will disappoint the masses oozing to draft him. Find out why after the jump:

In early mocks, I made a point of drafting Lawrie. He was a staple for me in the fourth round, and I didn’t feel the slightest bit worried. Like I said, the kid is definitely talented and he also happens to be Canadian. How could I not draft him? Lately, however, my mantra has changed. Not only do I believe Lawrie to be overvalued, I’m also completely avoiding him at all costs. I want zero shares of Brett Lawrie. He’s as valuable to me as rehab was to Lindsay Lohan.

So why all the hate? This conclusion stems from an important lesson I learned very young; if it’s too good to be true, then it is and you should run away. Right now, Lawrie is a prime recipient of the all man-crush award. The fans love him, the “experts” love him, even Oscar the Grouch is reportedly aching to draft him in the Sesame Street Roto League. As much as everyone wants him to do well though, I urge you all to sit back and really think about the situation at hand. Simply put, Lawrie is too trendy to offer us any value. Think back to last year, when Jay Bruce was hyped up in a similar fashion to Lawrie this year. Everyone was willing to pay the extra buck to ensure they got the potential 40 HR youngster. What happened? Bruce did finally break past the 30 HR plateau, but he also posted a uninspiring .256 AVG. No value was gained. Bruce did not live up to the hype. I expect something similar to happen to Lawrie this year, but given his extensive injury history, it could be worse. Already, Lawrie has suffered through a groin injury. Although not deemed to be too serious, the injury, nonetheless, raises even more red flags.

If the injury woes are not enough to sway you, consider how expensive Lawrie actually is. In a recent auction (SoR Readers League) I personally pushed Lawrie’s price up to $39, a buck more than Mark Teixeira went for. If that is Lawrie’s sticker price, then you can sure as hell bet I ain’t buying. A common strategy you must employ in fantasy is to zig when others zag (or zag when others zig, it’s your preference really). You don’t want to be the sucker who falls into the trap of believing the hype. Be smarter than that. Take the road less traveled. Instead of overpaying for Lawrie, underpay for Pablo Sandoval or Adrian Beltre, both proven commodities in our game.

I want to believe Lawrie will overachieve, but I just can’t fathom this happening.  All the signs point to a dissapointment. In the many years I’ve played/obsessed about fantasy baseball, rarely have I ever seen the consensus breakout candidate live up the hype. I don’t see that changing this year. As such, unless you can get Lawrie for a reasonable price, don’t bother acquiring his services. An injury riddled, sophomore-slump type of season is approaching.

The Forecast: 350 ABs, 14 HRs, 62 RBIs, 58 Rs, 13 SBs, .264 BA


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.