Lawrie learns hard way

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

DUNEDIN Hes the new kid on the block, and Brett Lawrie is acutely aware that his reputation precedes him.

Part of that reputation is as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, a player who combines power and speed with an intense passion for the game.

The other part has been, at times, as a man-child prone to making some immature choices.

Lawrie arrived from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Shaun Marcum trade, bringing with him some huge potential along with some baggage that he wants to put behind him.

There is, for example, the matter of some ill-advised Facebook pictures that surfaced after the trade, a faux pas hes ready to own.

That was a while ago and I take full responsibility for it, the B.C. native said on Friday. Its just part of growing up and it was time for me to grow up a little bit.

There was also some suggestion that Lawrie balked when the Brewers wanted to send him to the Arizona Fall League, a no-no for a kid less than two years into his career.

When things arent going right, you can get frustrated and I learned that last year, said Lawrie, not referring to that particular incident but to professional life in general.

I had some frustrations. I had my good times and my bad times. Its about trying to keep on that even plane, so thats what Im working on going forward just keeping my head on straight.

Lawrie is sounding like a kid trying to make the leap into adulthood. Hes already impressed by his new surroundings.

I feel like Ive already been welcomed here, he said. It seems like a good group of guys. Im really excited to be here.

The trade was a very good thing for me. I want the best opportunity for me to play major league baseball. Thankfully, I get to be back home. Its good for me to get into a new organization and its kind of like a fresh start for me. I dont think Milwaukee was the best fit for me. I wish them luck going forward but Im happy to be here.

Milwaukee converted Lawrie from catcher to second baseman and now the Jays are looking at him as a third baseman. Thats fine with Lawrie.

I expect to just work hard, go about my business and play hard, play the right way and get to know all these guys because Im going to be with them sooner than later, he said.

I like the infield because it really allows me to use my athleticism. I think if I was behind the plate, it would eventually take away from my speed.

There are guys like Johnny Mac (veteran infielder McDonald) and Aaron Hill who have a lot of experience and have been around the game a long time. Ill just try to pick their brains and learn some things along the way.


Videos

Photos