22-year-old Brett Lawrie did it again Sunday, going 3-for-3 against the Braves to raise his average to .579.
Toronto’s third baseman is 11-for-19 and has already collected five doubles this spring.
Lawrie was one of the AL’s best hitters after debuting at the tender age of 21 last August, batting .293/.373/.580 with nine homers and 25 RBI in 43 games. He ended up with 150 at-bats, so he won’t be eligible for Rookie of the Year honors this season. Perhaps he’ll just set his sights on the MVP award instead.
The Jays’ plan is to hit Lawrie seventh initially, with Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus likely to follow No. 3 hitter Jose Bautista. Still, it’s worth wondering how long that will last. Everyone in that group of candidates to bat behind Bautista has significant upside, but Lawrie’s potential probably dwarfs them all.