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Prospect Note: Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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Jake Lamb
Jake Lamb
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a sleeper prospect for you to track: Jake Lamb of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sleeper prospect may be a misnomer, given that he's waking up quite nicely at Double-A Mobile: hitting .307/.385/.545 with 21 doubles already, seven homers, 21 walks and 49 strikeouts in 202 at-bats over 55 games.

This is not out of context: Lamb was also very effective in 2013, hitting .303/.424/.558 in the California League. Alas, that was in just 64 games, as a broken hamate cost him half the season. And of course, that's the California League, where my nine-month old cat could probably hit .280. However, the Southern League is a fairer test, one that Lamb is passing with flying colors so far.

Lamb was a sixth-round pick in 2012 from the University of Washington. He was successful in college, hitting .326/.401/.450 over three seasons, but scouts didn't care for his swing mechanics and worried that the production would not carry over to pro ball. The Diamondbacks have reportedly reworked his swing and he's actually hit better in pro ball than he did in college, tapping into his natural power more readily. Lamb is a left-handed hitter but doesn't have a sharp platoon split to this point. He's 23, not super young but not ancient by any means and, indeed, a year and a half younger than the average competition he's facing.

Interestingly, unlike many mid-round college draftees, he is a good athlete and a valuable defensive player, featuring above-average range, hand, and arm strength at third base. He's cut down on routine errors and looks sharp with the glove. If you want to nitpick, I suppose you could point out that he doesn't steal many bases.

Lamb has tools and he has skills. That's a great bargain in the sixth round, something every team will try to duplicate in the draft tomorrow.