The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted third base prospect Jake Lamb to the major league roster this evening. Although he did not receive a large amount of attention outside of Diamondbacks circles in the pre-season prospect run-up, he has a very impressive track record and has out-played many more-heralded prospects. Here's a quick take.
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.
This has not been a problem: the Diamondbacks made a few swing adjustments and the results have been excellent: he hit .303/.424/.558 for Visalia in the High-A California League last year, then proved that was not a Cal League illusion with a .318/.399/.551 line this season for Double-A Mobile. Recently promoted to Triple-A Reno, he went 9-for-18 with four doubles and a home run in five games, prompting his promotion.
On the season, he's hitting .327/.407/.566 with 39 doubles, 15 homers, 53 walks and 103 strikeouts in 392 at-bats combined between the two levels.
Listed at 6-3, 220, Lamb is a left-handed hitter, born October 9, 1990. Although not a stolen base threat, he is a good athlete and a very good defender at third base, with above-average range and a strong arm. Indeed, his glove was considered ahead of his bat in college, but the hitting has since caught up with his defensive skills. A broken hamate cut short his '13 campaign but has obviously not been an issue this season.
Lamb has a potent combination of tools, skills, and sabermetric soundness. I had him as a Grade B- prospect pre-season, ranked sixth on the Diamondbacks prospect list. He's at least a Grade B now.
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