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
There's been lots of cases of hot, hot blazes that, at least temporarily, come down to smoke and ash. Gordon Beckham comes immediately to mind. He was an overhyped can't miss guy, but you can still see the smoke from the desert where he crashed and burned in a lonely spot. And then there's Jay Bruce that came up with both pistols blazing in his initial callup. Fantasy baseballers were jumping all over him as the next major stud, but leaped off the sinking USS Bruce like rats when he couldn't adjust back to what the pitchers were doing. Now, of course after a few years of MLB experience, he's a very good player if not a mapor star.
I got Lawrie in the 7th round, and maybe he's going to follow the Pujols path to greatness in his first year, but if not, and he looks more like an over-hyped Danny Valencia that a Pujols, I'll find myself looking at the draft sheet to see who I could have had in his place. I hope he's closer to the raves than the pans since that only helps my team. I do have Longoria, warts and all, to fall back on.
I like the 7th round price tag on Lawrie. That's worth the gamble in my opinion. Lot less risk there at that pick.
I got Lawrie in our 7th draft round. I don't think he's going to be a major star this year. I have Longoria as my I3 and Lawrie as CI. I'm looking for may 18 - 20 HRs and maybe 70 RBIs. I'm thinking he's probably going to be a big star in maybe 2014. He's young and probably does not have the experience he needs to adjust back to the pitchers as they develop ways to get him out.
@Buckwheat I don't see Lawrie as a home run hitter but I see him continuing to hit more extra bases than singles and hitting for average. Longoria won't have as good a year and his ave. will continue to drop as it has for several years. Playing in Tampa he will hit homeruns in a stadium that is extremely hitter friendly.
@mancash I say he's a stud, just not worth his insanely high draft price. There is very little room for value here, and often, in our game, that leads to bitter failure. I warned you.
I think that Lawrie will have 500 ABs, 18 homers, 16 triples, 50 doubles, 80 runs, 35 sb, aqnd a .305 BA, 520 Slugging %. Too bad you didn't say how he performed after he returned from the groin strain. And in my prediction he isn't overachieving.
Pick your poison at 3B. Wright, Zimmerman, A-Rod, Pablo, and to some degree Beltre are all injury risks, and it's not like you can really cover for it in later rounds when a guy like David Freese is just as likely to be injured when you main 3B hits the DL. If you get Lawrie in the third or fourth round, you at least have two or three other solid picks before him.
@ErikArcher Yeah, good thoughts there. I think it's probably better to go with a healthy Lawrie in round 4 or 5 (if you can or get lucky)... than risk it with some of those injury prone guys. Someone that is healthy is already a much better pick than someone that is injured, regardless of where you draft them (unless it's like a 20 round difference, of course.)
I love me some Lawrie, but I definitely agree he's over hyped. It's very hard to draft him for value in any leagues, unless you're playing with total fools.
@Kiffy I agree man, but I just have a hunch that he really is going to disappoint. He's been injury prone his whole career, and I don't think that's going to go away this year. He's a star in the making sure, but I'll wait till after this year to grab him in leagues. POST-HYPE SLEEPER FTW
I don't even think you have to be that bearish on Lawrie's overall stats to be inclined to stay away. If you're drafting him in the 3rd round, you can only profit from the move if he finishes as a top 20-30 player. Think of all the guys he has to be better than for that to happen, and it's clear that you're much better off with a proven commodity. This is the most obscene pre-season hype I've ever seen around a young player, and can end basically three ways: profit (i.e. he's one of the best hitters in baseball), no profit or loss (he's still one of the best hitters in baseball), or loss (allllllll the other possible outcomes).