Jan 23, 2012

Brett Lawrie - 2012 Fantasy Sleeper Candidate




There are a couple of fantasy baseball deep sleepers each year that can make the difference for your team. The following 2012 profile of Brett Lawrie will analyze the chances that he might be one of the next big sleepers. He was selected based on my simple selection process which is detailed in this introductory post.

ADP as of this posting: 55.88 (Round 5 in 12-team league)
Projected 2012 Role: Starting 3B
2011 Production: .293 AVG, 9 HR, 26 R, 25 RBI, 7 SB in 171 PA
My 2012 Prediction: .285 AVG, 20 HR, 90 R, 90 RBI, 20 SB

The public continues to get smarter as Brett Lawrie's draft stock is already high for this year despite only 171 PA last year. His value is also helped out by the fact that third base is a weak position for this year. But, let's look at just what we can expect from Lawrie.

The kid hit .296 with 39 HR and 62 SB over 326 minor league games and seemed to get better at each level he played at. At 22, he already has the potential for a 25 HR/25 SB season to go along with a good batting average. That reason alone is precisely why he is being drafted ahead of Alex Rodriguez, Aramis Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis and Pablo Sandoval who are all fine major leaguers.

After hitting 21 HR in his first 1085 minor league PA, his power suddenly bloomed as he hit 27 HR's over his 500 PA last year between the minors and majors. Because the spike is so sudden, I struggle to think that he can keep up that exact rate (a 17% HR/FB rate is almost Albert Pujols territory). Couple that with the fact that his huge minor league numbers came in the very hitter-friendly Pioneer League and it's hard to feel the power is completely legit but he still has shown he can hit the long ball regardless and 20-25 HR in 2012 is a safe bet.

His stolen bases are the factor that make him like a mini David Wright. In his first two minor league seasons, he was caught stealing 26 times (an ugly 65% success rate). In his first year in the Blue Jay organization last year, he was only caught stealing 3 times (a lovely 87% success rate). Perhaps they've shown him the error in his ways. It seems like the youngster should be able to easily swipe 20 or more SB's as well in 2012.

And as far as batting average, he may not exactly be a potential .300 hitter based on past history but he shouldn't hurt you in that department either. All in all, he seems like at least a 20/20 hitter at a weaker fantasy position and there's some great value to that.

Sleeper Verdict: Sleepy. He has the potential to deliver 30/30 production but it may not come just yet.

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