In December 2010 the Toronto Blue Jays traded their opening day starter Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Brett Lawrie. By making that trade the Blue Jays were acknowledging that they were making the 2011 team worse by trading one of their established starters for a prospect. But this wasn’t just any prospect. This was a Canadian hitting machine that was going to be a star. The Blue Jays had never had a legitimate Canadian star before so the expectations for Brett Lawrie were very high.
On top of making the 2011 Blue Jays worse by trading Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays fans were going to be teased because Brett Lawrie was not going to be ready to start the 2011 season in the big leagues. So when the 2011 season started Blue Jays fans were full of hype waiting for Lawrie to get called up to the big leagues. In May of 2011, in the very week he was finally going to called up, Lawrie got hit by a pitch in his hand and put on the disabled list. The tease of Brett Lawrie coming to the big leagues continued.
Due to the injury and needing a rehab assignment Lawrie didn’t come to the major leagues until August. However, he lived up to all the hype. In his first big league game at Camden Yards against the Orioles he went 2 for 4. In his third game he hit a home run. In his second home game he hit a grand slam with the Blue Jays behind 3-2 to take a 6-3 lead. After just a month in the big leagues he hit a walk off home run against the Red Sox in an extra innings 0-0 game. But Lawrie only played 43 games in total. It was just another small tease because Bluejays fans had to wait till 2012 to see what he would do for a full season.
Before the 2012 season there was a lot of high expectations for what Brett Lawrie would do over the course of a full season. Fans were saying John Farrell should hit Lawrie 4th behind Jose Bautista. They were expecting Lawrie to represent the Blue Jays in the All-Star game. They were mad that he had too many at bats in 2011 to qualify for the Rookie of the Year Award in 2012. There were even baseball writers calling him a Hall of Famer.
In the first 2 months of the 2012 Lawrie showed such a lack of power and consistency with the bat that he was moved from the middle of the order to batting lead-off. He played well out of the lead-off spot but still nowhere near the expectations before the season. In 150 at bats in 2011 Brett Lawrie had 4 triples, 9 homeruns, 25 rbi’s, 16 walks and 7 stolen bases. But in 494 at bats in 2012 he had just 3 triples, 11 homeruns, 48 rbi’s, 33 walks and 13 stolen bases. Despite having triple the plate appearances in 2012, Lawrie’s numbers were barely higher than the number’s he had in 43 games in 2011. It looked like defense and the occasional hit would be what fans should come to expect. Then in the last week of the season Lawrie hit 2 home runs, one going opposite field and the other a bomb to the second deck and he had 7 other hits. Just in time to tease fans again.