Jake Lamb, who only recently was promoted to Triple-A Reno but had gone 9-for-18 with five extra-base hits in that short stay, is making the next jump.
Lamb, who ranked fourth on the Diamondbacks’ top 10 prospect list for our Midseason Prospect Update—for sale now—was promoted Thursday and could play tonight against Kansas City.
The lefty swinger, 23, was part of a glut of talented third basemen for Arizona prior to the season. Matt Davidson was sent to the White Sox for reliever Addison Reed, while Brandon Drury—who ranked ahead of Lamb prior to the season—is hitting well after his recent bump to Double-A.
A sixth-round pick out of the University of Washington in 2012, Lamb signed for $161,000. He was drafted out of high school in Seattle in the 38th round in 2009 by the Pirates, but passed on signing to go to college. A shortstop in high school, Lamb is a plus defender at third base. In our survey of Southern League managers for the league’s best tools, Lamb rated as the best defensive third baseman.
He’s no slouch at the plate, either. Lamb has strength but also a smooth swing—which Arizona ironed out—to hit for average. Across three years in the minors, Lamb has a .321/.406/.553 slash line.
His raw power began to emerge in 2013 and is showing this season with 59 extra-base hits across two levels.
One evaluator was effusive about Lamb, calling him, “a strong, strong guy. Power is nothing new for him. He’s got the swing to hit for average, with not a lot of flaws to his game.”
Prior to Prado’s trade, general manager Kevin Towers said, “we think we’ll see him here at some point next year.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
“He’s ready for a shot at major league pitching,” a scout with an American League team told the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro. “It’s a game of adjustments, and only time will tell, but if all goes right, he should be a .275 hitter with 15 to 20 homers who can play solid third base.”
The job is open for Lamb with Prado gone and he’ll get the final 50 games to audition. At his best, he’ll give a fantasy owner batting average and home runs, but don’t expect any steals.