Jordan M. Lennerton
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 217-230 lb.
Lennerton was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 50th round of the 2004 amateur draft. He hit .333 at El Paso Community College in 2005 and was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 41st round of the 2005 amateur draft (one selection after Tyler Moore) but again did not sign. He hit a whopping .416 as a sophomore, with 63 RBI in 55 games. Transferring to Oregon State, he put up a .313/.410/.539 line with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 65 games. He homered three times in the 2007 College World Series, including in each game of the finals as OSU won the national title. He fell to .277/.370/.482 with six home runs as a senior. The Detroit Tigers chose him in the 33rd round of the 2008 amateur draft; the scout was Ryan Johnson.
Lennerton made his pro debut with the GCL Tigers and Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2008, hitting .243/.348/.365 for the first club and .179/.338/.268 for the latter. He struck out in 54 of 171 at-bats for the year. With the 2009 West Michigan Whitecaps, he was much better, batting .282/.370/.434 with 30 doubles and 71 RBI. He led the Midwest League with 7 intentional walks and led MWL first basemen in fielding percentage (.996). In 2010, he was with the Whitecaps (.290/.386/.402 in 59 G) and Lakeland (.301/.393/.505 in 57 G), with a combined 30 doubles. He had exactly 62 hits for each team.
With Lakeland in 2011, he hit .285/.397/.444 with 33 doubles, 92 walks, 75 runs and 75 RBI. He was among the Florida State League leaders in runs (tied for 8th with Hunter Morris), doubles (7th), RBI (8th) and walks (2nd, 12 behind leader Robbie Grossman). He finished the year hot, with a .406 average, 8 home runs and 21 RBI in August, winning Tigers Minor League Player of the Month honors. He also was among Tiger farmhand leaders for the year in runs (2nd), doubles (tied for second, 3 behind Nick Castellanos), home runs (4th), RBI (4th), walks (1st) and OBP (2nd).
In '12, the Langley native hit .269/.368/.469 with 34 doubles, 21 home runs, 82 RBI and 79 walks for the Erie SeaWolves, while fielding .998 at 1B. He was among the Eastern League pacesetters in runs (73, tied for 7th with Gary Brown and Niuman Romero), doubles (tied for 4th with Matt Curry), home runs (tied for 3rd with Zoilo Almonte, behind Darin Ruf and Luke Murton), RBI (4th behind Ruf, Chris Colabello and Robbie Widlansky), walks (tied for first with Aaron Hicks) and strikeouts (1st, one ahead of fellow Canadian Nick Weglarz). Ruf, who hit 38 home runs, was an easy pick as the All-Star 1B despite Lennerton's fine season. Among Tiger minor leaguers, he led in RBI (three over Dean Green) and walks (11 more than runner-up Matt Young). He was also second in home runs (3 behind Brad Eldred), tied for third in doubles and third in runs.
Lennerton then joined Team Canada for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. In his only game, against Germany, he entered as a 8th-inning pinch-hitter for DH Brock Kjeldgaard and homered off Harry Glynne. He came up again in the 9th and singled off Markus Solbach, scoring Chris Robinson. Canada won their pool but Jordan did not make Canada's roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic due to the presence of Joey Votto and Justin Morneau.
He started the 2013 Futures Game as the World team first baseman, drawing a walk from Taijuan Walker in the second and hitting a fourth-inning sacrifice fly off Anthony Ranaudo to score Xander Bogaerts. Ji-man Choi replaced him in the 6th of a 4-2 loss to the USA. For the season, he had a solid AAA debut with the Toledo Mud Hens, producing at a .278/.382/.430 clip with 25 doubles, 17 home runs, 84 walks and 68 runs. He also fielded .996. He tied Vince Belnome for third in the 2013 International League in walks, was 4th in OBP (behind only Chris Colabello, Belnome and L.J. Hoes) and led in fielding percentage at 1B. Among Tigers farmhands, only Jamie Johnson walked more and he tied Lance Durham for fifth in home runs. He won a Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove and Baseball America named him as his league's top defender at 1B.
Jordan then starred in the Puerto Rican League, hitting .340/.414/.539 with 13 doubles and 21 RBI in 39 games for the Ponce Lions. He was third in average (behind Michael Taylor and Jorge Padilla), 3rd in OBP (behind Aaron Bates and Taylor), led in slugging (by .002 over Jon Singleton), was second in hits (48, two behind Taylor), led in doubles (one over Luis Matos), tied Anthony Garcia and Kennys Vargas for third in home runs (5), tied Kiki Hernandez for 4th in RBI, led with 78 total bases (8 more than Taylor) and led in OPS (14 more than Taylor). He was named league MVP.
At age 28, Lennerton hit .249/.362/.395 with 73 walks for Toledo in 2014. He was second in the 2014 IL in walks (13 behind Dan Johnson). He again fielded very well, handling 1,127 chances without an error. He led the IL's first basemen in putouts (1,058), assists (69), double plays (107) and fielding percentage. He won a MiLB Gold Glove and Baseball America named him the best defensive 1B in the IL. He returned to Puerto Rico but was not nearly as sharp as the prior winter - .227/.312/.300 in 32 games for the Santurce Crabbers.
He opened 2015 with Toledo yet again but did not regain his 2013 form - he hit .242/.332/.390 in 54 games - then was released. He then was Team Canada's starting first baseman for the first time. He hit .292/.486/.583 with 7 runs and 9 RBI in 8 games in the 2015 Pan American Games, helping Canada defend their Gold from the 2011 Pan American Games; the only other country to win two baseball Golds previously had been Cuba. Lennerton hit a 3-run homer off the Dominican Republic's Pedro de los Santos, drew five walks in a win over Nicaragua, scored three runs against Puerto Rico and hit a two-run home run off Puerto Rico's Miguel Martinez in the semifinals. In the Gold Medal game, he was 1 for 3 with a RBI from the cleanup spot in a 7-6 win over Team USA; he had a sacrifice fly off Buddy Baumann to score Pete Orr to put Canada ahead 4-3 in the 5th. For the Games, he tied for 5th in runs and was second in RBI, a distant 8 behind Garcia. Following the Pan Am Games, he was signed by the Atlanta Braves and sent to the Gwinnett Braves.