Lawrie sent to Minor League camp

Lawrie sent to Minor League camp

TAMPA, Fla. -- Brett Lawrie's breakout audition has come to an end.

The Blue Jays announced prior to Wednesday night's game against the Yankees that Lawrie was returned to the club's Minor League camp.

Lawrie had made a name for himself during his first Spring Training with Toronto. He hit .282 (11-for-39) with two home runs and six RBIs in 17 Grapefruit League games.

"The fact is, we've got an exciting young player in our system," manager John Farrell said. "When he's ready to come to the big leagues and be in the lineup every day, we feel like we're going to have a player for a long, long time that's going to be a productive one."

The 21-year-old was attending his first camp with the Blue Jays, following an offseason trade with Milwaukee for No. 1 starter Shaun Marcum.

The most surprising aspect about Lawrie's spring performance was his play at third base. Lawrie was drafted as a catcher, but he rose through the ranks of Milwaukee's system as a second baseman.

During the offseason, he made the transition to third base and spent Spring Training learning the position with infield instructor Brian Butterfield and veterans such as John McDonald.

"He showed us the ability to make some adjustments and make them quickly," Farrell said. "He made a number of good defensive plays, particularly in situations where you've got a man at second [and] third, two outs, and execute a play that might in some ways be routine. But when you're changing positions and you know you've got the potential of one or two runs scoring in that situation, [it's not easy]. He executed them each time."

The native of Langley, British Columbia, is expected to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. Last year, he hit .285 with eight home runs and 63 RBIs in Double-A.

Toronto now has 41 players remaining in its Major League Camp -- including 11 non-roster invitees. The list includes 24 pitches, three catchers, nine infielders and five outfielders.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.