Brett Lawrie had a busy 2010.
The 2008 first-round Draft pick played in the Southern League All-Star Game in front of his hometown fans in Huntsville. He also started and batted leadoff for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim. In December, the British Columbia native was traded by the Brewers to the Blue Jays for right-hander Shaun Marcum.
Lawrie, who turned 21 on Tuesday, has produced offensively since turning professional. After clubbing 13 homers for Class A Wisconsin in 2009, he slumped to eight last season at Double-A. But he batted .285 with 30 steals and 90 runs scored, led the Southern League with 16 triples and 250 total bases and ranked sixth with 36 doubles.
As he prepares for his first Spring Training with the Major Leagues' only Canadian team, Lawrie chatted about his busy 2010, his golf game and his pregame music selections.
MiLB.com: How did you find out about the trade? Would you have preferred being dealt during the season so you had a chance to talk to your teammates?
Lawrie: I was actually in Los Angeles, and my agent gave me a call that there was a deal in place for me. It wasn't set at the time. A couple of hours later, he gave me a call back to let me know it was finalized. I think, for me, in the offseason was a good thing. During the season you can be on a roll, and then all of a sudden to change it can wreck your routine and screw up your groove. I think the offseason was a better choice for me.
MiLB.com: Was getting dealt to Toronto exciting for you and your family?
Lawrie: It was very exciting for me being a Canadian kid. It's a great feeling to come back to Canada and have the Canadian flag on my chest again. It's the first time I've felt welcome in a long time.
MiLB.com: What's your favorite ballpark to play in as a visitor?
Lawrie: One of the best ones is Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio, when I was in [Class A] my first season. I think the fan base was nice, the ball flies there, the outfield stands, big scoreboard in left -- it's just a real great atmosphere. That was probably one of the top ones for me.
MiLB.com: What's your favorite off-day activity?
Lawrie: I like to golf, I enjoy golf. Sometimes during the season it can be hard to get out to play because you're so tired. I shoot around 80. I do not have a hole-in-one; it's pretty tough to get, but I'm still trying.
MiLB.com: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Lawrie: I just listen to some music, just plug in my iPod. I just do the same thing every day -- hit in the cage, maybe have a snack and throw on some music. Sometimes I'm in a country mood, sometimes I'm in a rap mood, sometimes I'm in a classic rock mood. It just depends.
MiLB.com: What was the biggest adjustment you made in moving up to Double-A?
Lawrie: I think not worrying about the numbers and not worrying about homers and doubles and triples. I got to a point -- and I'm glad I caught on early -- that I didn't worry about the numbers. It helped me out through my whole season. Once I stopped worrying about that, things started going right for me.
MiLB.com: You're moving to an organization that has an established second baseman at the big league level in Aaron Hill. Has the idea of switching positions been discussed at all?
Lawrie: I've been working out at third -- they've wanted me to play some third. I felt comfortable over there, I think I am going to go into Spring [Training], where third is where I'm going to be put at.
MiLB.com: What's the best advice you've received as a pro?
Lawrie: Actually, the best advice was from about a week-and-a-half ago. We had a speech from Michael "Pinball" Clemons for the Canadian Football League. He gave us a speech about a variety of different stuff, and it was probably the best personal talk I've ever heard. He went on about being a baseball player is what you do, not who you are. Just staying grounded, and that's kind of what I took to heart.
MiLB.com: Did you play any other sports growing up?
Lawrie: I played soccer for a long time, from when I was 6 until I was 17. I was a forward, a striker. I played high school basketball every year except my Draft year. I was a point guard and a shooting guard.
MiLB.com: What's been the greatest moment of your pro career?
Lawrie: I think probably this year in Double-A. I had a lot to prove -- this was my second year in pro ball -- and I think for me getting the two All-star nominations and getting to the Futures Game was the biggest thing for me.