Position: First Baseman
Lennerton was a 33rd round choice of the Tigers in the 2008 draft, marking the third time he had been popped in baseball's annual Rule 4 draft. Previously, the Blue Jays (50th round) and Brewers (41st round) had selected him in the 2004 and 2005 drafts, respectively.
The Canadian-born Lennerton posted a cumulative .222/.345/.333 line in his debut summer, seeing time with both the GCL Tigers and the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers. He showed impressive command of the strike zone in his first season, walking 32 times in just 54 games, though he did whiff 54 times as well.
Sent to Low-A West Michigan in 2009, Lennerton was a solid piece of the Whitecaps' offense. In 119 games, mostly at first base, Lennerton posted a .282 batting average with 30 doubles, 12 home runs and 71 RBI. He continued to walk, reaching base an extra 64 times via the free pass, and also continued to strike out with 127 punch outs.
Lennerton returned to West Michigan for the first half of the 2010 season, posting a .290/.386/.402 line in 59 games. The Tigers promoted him to High-A at the half way point and he took off, smoking the ball to the tune of a .301/.393/.505 line with 15 doubles and nine home runs.
Yet again, Lennerton returned to his previous level for the 2011 season, spending the entire year with Lakeland. In 136 games Lennerton walked an impressive 92 times against 125 strikeouts, all while slugging 33 doubles and 14 home runs.
The Tigers pushed Lennerton to Double-A Erie to start his age 26 season, and he has responded early on with a .289/.356/.544 line through 24 games. He has already slugged six home runs and ripped five doubles.
Lennerton is a big, hulking guy. He has a thick frame that resembles the classic first basemen of years gone by. A below-average athlete, Lennerton isn't a graceful guy in any sense, but he plays with plenty of effort and can get some things done on the diamond.
His best attribute is quite easily is knowledge of the strike zone. Lennerton understands the limits of the zone and has solid pitch recognition skills, allowing him to work counts, draw walks and establish counts where he maintains the advantage over the pitcher.
What Lennerton lacks are the contact skills to make full use of his strike zone judgment and plate discipline. Lennerton's bat-to-ball skills leave him projecting as a well below-average hitter that will routinely pile up plenty of strikeouts.
Lennerton's swing is aggressive and often uncontrolled. He doesn't hold back and swing for contact very often, almost selling out for power at times. He has the strength to drive the ball out of the park and doesn't always need to sell out. His swing can get very long with hints of an uppercut at times, leaving him very susceptible to good secondary pitches and hard fastballs inside.
Lennerton is a well below-average runner but he moves surprisingly well around the bag at first base. He has soft hands at the position and is the best in the Tigers system at picking low throws and stretching to help his fellow infielders. Lennerton's arm, though hidden at first base, has plenty of strength.
Despite the power and walks present in Lennerton's game, he doesn't profile as a big league hitter. He has a chance to be a very solid minor league slugger that plays good defense and sticks around for a long time.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% AA
Lennerton has been healthy as a professional.
Lennerton should be the everyday first baseman at Double-A Erie for the remainder of this season. He has the skill set to be a very good slugger at that level and he should help keep the Erie offense moving throughout the year. His approach at the plate makes him reliable and keeps him from entering prolonged slumps. While he has almost no big league projection, he can still provide value to the organization by holding down a spot in Double-A and contributing on both sides of the ball.
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