Monday, 5 August 2013

Brett Lawrie, and Being Alright

Brett Lawrie had a pretty rough start to 2013.

It began with a rib injury that delayed the beginning of his season, and caused him to miss the WBC.  He returned to the lineup two weeks in to the year, to a Jays' lineup that was slumping despite the expectations cast upon them, and didn't get over the Mendoza line until April 26.  He's still yet to get above the .300 OBP mark, but the sample size is still relatively small, at 226 PA's.

Things took another turn when Lawrie sprained his ankle in late May, causing him to miss about 6 weeks.  At the time, Lawrie was hitting .209/.268/.374, with a babip of .240 and a strikeout rate of 23.5% (vs. current .296 and 17.4% rates respectively).  There's probably some kind of correlation between starting the season late and having a big upshoot in strikeout rate, but hey.  I'm not trying to throw a bunch of stock in to babip either, but again, hey.  We can say whatever we need to about a 23 year old suddenly becoming terrible and sustainable/non-sustainable performance.

Once Lawrie returned from his ankle injury, he spent some time playing around in Buffalo, getting some hacks in and trying to straighten everything out.  It's an even smaller sample, but in the 75 plate appearances since returning from the DL, Lawrie is hitting .254/.320/.478, with a 13% strikeout rate, and a .241 babip.

The moral of the story?

Brett Lawrie might never be anyone that isn't a big injury threat all the time, but half a season worth of at-bats, sandwiched between multiple injuries and rehab stats, probably isn't going to do a whole lot to determine what a player is worth.  Sure, Lawrie is a posterchild for ADD, and is probably a prime candidate to be injured at least once a year for the rest of his career, but he's 23 years old, and he's probably going to continue to follow a typical aging curve.

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