Newly-acquired prospect Brett Lawrie was on the Fan 590 last Thursday, where he discussed a variety of issues including his attitude, work ethic, and confidence, among other things.
Below are some of Lawrie’s word-for-word responses to a few of the questions he was asked, for those of you that haven’t had a chance to listen to the interview.
When asked about what went through his mind when he first heard he was traded to the Blue Jays:
"“My first initial thought was, how cool is that? I get to come back to Canada and represent my country again. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten an opportunity to do that. To be able to do that, hopefully in the Rogers Centre coming up here is going to be pretty cool “"
When asked what position he would like to play at the Major League level, Lawrie was quick to note that second base has been the only position he has played, and replied:
"“As far as second base goes, yeah I like it. I think for myself, whatever gets me to, you know, the big leagues the fastest and whatever the Blue Jays need me to do I’m more than happy to do.”"
When asked if it’s going to be weird coming to spring training with a new team and having to impress people right away:
"“I think , just for me, it’s just a good opportunity. I get a chance to prove myself in front of some new people that I haven’t met yet. I’m just excited to get going, obviously meet some new guys and try and get in with the big league club as best I can and make some friends there. I think it’s more about myself just going out there and just doing my thing and continue to play hard and that’s what everybody from the Blue Jays knows that I do is that I go out there and I give 150% every single time. I know if I do that, then I’m sure I’m going to have some people on my side.”"
When asked about what his timetable is to break into the Major Leagues:
"“For me personally, I’m going to go into spring training full throttle and I’m going to try and blow the doors off, you know, the GM’s mind, and all the other coaches’ as well. So for me, I’m going into spring training thinking about number one, I’m thinking about the big leagues, that’s all that’s on my mind, and that’s all that’s been on my mind the past little while here. So no, I’m totally looking for the big leagues and you know, that’s where I feel my game is at and where my mind’s been at for the past while here so I’m 100% looking for the big leagues and that’s what I’m shooting for.”"
Asked how he has changed since becoming a professional baseball player:
"“For me, what I’ve learned is that, you know, take your infield and take your reps, take that very seriously, take batting practice seriously and you know, try and channel your energies. I think I’ve done a good job of that and for me just knowing I’ve got 140 games ahead of me I’ve just been trying to take good care of my body.”"
When asked about the questionable Facebook photos that were leaked on a website:
"“Myself, I know that I’m, you know, that I’m 20 years old, but that’s not an excuse. I’m not using that as an excuse at all because I’m a professional and professionals shouldn’t be doing that sort of stuff . Those pictures were from a long time ago, you know, on a Halloween night, and obviously, you know, I’m still maturing as a person and as a professional I think this is one of those things that’s just a stepping stone. Obviously I’m learning from it, and I have learned from it and, you know, I can promise that it won’t happen again."
It was mentioned how there was some talk from the Brewers that they were upset that he didn’t go to the Arizona Fall League this year as expected, and when he was asked if he feels he has to make anything up or change anybody’s mind about him:
"“No, I’m not changing anything about myself, and I don’t think anybody wants me to. I think they’ve chosen me because I have that fire inside [of] me and they wouldn’t have traded for me if they didn’t like that fire, so I don’t think there’s much to change. Like I said, I’m still maturing as a professional and as a person so I’m just going to continue forward with what I’ve been doing and hopefully I’m going to be in the big leagues coming up.”"
By some of these answers, Lawrie does not seem as cocky as initially thought, just confident. The kid seems very excited and anxious to get to spring training, and to just hit the ground running.
He’ll likely be in for a wake up call when he realizes that he’ll have to improve defensively to make it to the Majors, but he seems like the type that would be motivated enough to do all he can with Triple-A Las Vegas to get to the Majors, assuming he starts 2011 there. There is, however, the outside chance that he cracks the Major League squad right out of spring training too.
I’d recommend listening to the broadcast anyway, just to get your own thoughts about Lawrie’s tone when he responds to the questions. Advance about two-thirds of the way through the audio clip to get to the Lawrie interview.