Jake Lamb

From BR Bullpen

Jacob Ryan Lamb

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Third baseman Jake Lamb was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2012 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Donnie Reynolds for $161,000 and made his pro debut that summer with the Missoula Osprey.

Lamb made his major league debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014, after being named MVP of the Southern League when he hit .318/.399/.551 in 103 games with the Mobile BayBears, with 35 doubles, 14 homers, 60 runs scored and 70 RBIs. With Arizona, he hit .230 with 4 homers and 11 RBI in 37 games.

In spring training in 2015, he won a competition against Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas, who had signed a multimillion-dollar contract in the off-season, for the starting third base job. Tomas ended up with the AAA Reno Aces to start the year, while Lamb set a franchise record by collecting 7 RBIs in his team's first two games of the season. He played 107 games in his rookie year, hitting ,263 with 6 homers and 34 RBIs. He then took a big step forward in 2016, as he was leading the NL in slugging percentage at the end of June. In his first 82 games, he hit .292 with 19 doubles, 7 triples and 19 homers. He was a serious candidate to make the All-Star team, but it was 1B Paul Goldschmidt who got the nod as the Diamondbacks' sole representative. As a consolation prize, he was named one of five candidates for the Final Man Vote in the NL, and teammates duly went on the stump for his candidacy, bringing in a live lamb into the clubhouse to pose for pictures and create a suitable buzz in favor of the young third baseman, albeit in vain. He finished the year at .249 with 29 homers and 91 RBIs in 151 games.

Statistically, his 2017 season was very similar to the previous one, as he hit .248 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs, but this time, his team was competitive, keeping with the Los Angeles Dodgers for a couple of months before settling in as the first wild card team in the league. Thanks to that solid performance, he did make the All-Star team for the first time. He was at his best in the Wild Card Game against the Colorado Rockies, going 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored. However, the D-Backs were no match for the powerful Dodgers in the NLDS and Jake went 2-for-8 as Arizona was swept in three games. He started the 2018 season by going 5 for 18 in his first four games, but on April 3rd, he was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, the result of a diving catch in a 15-inning game against the Dodgers the previous day. He only returned on May 18th and finally hit his first homer of the year on May 21st, off Chase Anderson of the Milwaukee Brewers in a 4-2 loss. He played 56 games, hitting .222 with 6 homers and 31 RBIs, but reinjured the shoulder on July 26th and in early August it was announced that he would need to undergo surgery on his left shoulder and would miss the remainder of the year.

There were new plans for Lamb as he returned to the Diamondbacks in spring training in 2019. The team had traded long-time first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the off-season, and Lamb moved across the diamond to take over his old position, with Eduardo Escobar playing third base. On April 3rd however, he strained a calf muscle running out a double in the 9th inning of a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres and a couple of days later was placed on the injured list. He was expected to miss six weeks, the second big blow to the D-Backs in just over a week, as RF Steven Souza had been lost for the year to a knee injury on the penultimate day of spring training, and the two were expected to make up Arizona's heart of the batting order. He had gone 4 for 15 (.267) in his first 5 games. Lamb was in fact out longer than anticipated, only returning on June 26th, and in the meantime rookie Christian Walker was having an excellent season as the team's starting third baseman, with Escobar playing just as well at third. Lamb was left to scrounge for playing time where he could find it and did not hit his first homer until July 6th. It had been more than a full year since his last long ball.

Jake's brother, Dylan, was a freshman pitcher on the University of Washington team in the 2018 College World Series.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2014 Player of the Year Southern League Mobile BayBears
  • NL All-Star (2017)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2016 & 2017)
  • 30-Home Eun Seasons: 1 (2017)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2017)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Matthew Bain: "Diamondbacks' Jake Lamb staying 'sane' at plate", "AZ Central Sports", The Arizona Republic, June 16, 2016. [1]

Related Sites[edit]