Lennerton Putting Promise on Display in Erie

In 2008 the Detroit Tigers drafted a young first baseman by the name of Jordan Lennerton from Oregon State University. The Tigers were looking for a young player who showed promise at the plate and on the defensive side of the ball, both of which Lennerton possessed. This season in Erie, Lennerton is showing what the Tigers saw.

Jordan Lennerton grew up just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with dreams of playing professional baseball at a very young age. Pursuing that dream, he began his collegiate career at El Paso Community College and would later transfer to Oregon State University.

After transferring to Oregon State University he helped lead the Beavers squad to a National Championship in 2007 by posting a .313 average for the year with 68 hits and 51 runs batted in. He would finish his college career as a Beaver and later signed with the Tigers when he was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft.

Lennerton had been previously drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004 in the 50th round and by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 41st round in 2005 but did not sign with either team.

When asked about getting drafted and beginning his minor league career Lennerton said "It's a great feeling. It's a bit of a grind in the minors and I get that, it's a tough road, but I enjoy it. The worst day the ballpark is better than anything else to me. Yea, it's the minor leagues but as long as you keep progressing and keep moving forward and still have that dream inside it's great. It's a still a game and a game that I love to play."

In 2008, Lennerton began playing within the Tigers farm system as a member of the Gulf Coast Tigers. In college he was known for his power and ability to drive in runs at the plate and that is exactly how he started in the minors. Lennerton played with the Gulf Coast Tigers for 36 games before being moved up to Class-A affiliate, Lakeland. In 36 with the Gulf Coast Tigers he posted 28 hits and 18 walks with 22 runs batted in. Finishing the 2008 season in Lakeland, Lennerton had ten hits with eight runs batted in 18 games.

Between the 2009 and 2011 season Lennerton bounced around a bit in the minors playing for both the Lakeland Flying Tigers and West Michigan Whitecaps several times. Lennerton continued to be a consistent hitter posting averages around .290 each year with anywhere from 55 to 75 runs batted in through this stint in his career.

Lennerton was transferred to play for the Tigers Double-A affiliate, Erie, for the start of 2012 season where the British Columbia native has flourished and become somewhat of a local star. Since being with Erie, Lennerton has continued to show power at the plate while displaying the ability to hit to the opposite field along with being a solid defensive player.

The 6'2'' first baseman has always prided himself on his defense. "I take pride in my defense, and it is something I have always worked hard on and it is something a lot of first baseman don't necessarily do. I remember growing up and in high school, and spending a lot of time on my defense and having coaches that pushed me to do a little bit more. I have worked hard at helping my team on the defensive side of the ball."

Now that Lennerton has gotten used to the speed of the game at the Double-A level, he believes that playing in the higher levels within the minors has allowed him to become a better-rounded and more developed hitter. "Pitchers can command their pitches better and trust their stuff more at this level. They are not afraid to throw a 2-0 change-up or you can't sit dead red on a 2-0 fastball anymore." He went on to say that "you have to be prepared for all situations and not sit on any one pitch and be ready for any pitch at any time."

Lennerton knows to look for pitcher tendencies and habits so that he will perform well at the plate. "In this league, the way the schedule is set up, you usually face the same team several times within a month. Due to that you can usually remember guys and things like how often they come inside or how often they throw a breaking ball and other little things like that."

Currently, Lennerton has 68 hits with 44 runs batted in and 13 home runs through 68 games with Erie in the 2012 season. In all of the Eastern League he leads the league in walks, 2nd in home runs, 3rd in runs batted in, and 6th in on base percentage.

Jordan Lennerton is one of those players who loves to play the game for what it is and is always looking to improve upon his abilities while looking to fulfill those big league dreams of that young kid who grew up just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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