clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks All Time Top 50: #31, Jake Lamb

New, comments

When he’s hot, he’s a blazing inferno. When he’s not, the penguins complain about the cold.

National League Wild Card Game - Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images
  • Avg ranking (high/low/most common): 28.98 (14/43/29)
  • Seasons: 2014 - current
  • Stats with Arizona: 444 games, .250/.336/.462 = .798 OPS, 105 OPS+, 5.8 bWAR

Best season: 2016 - 151 games, .249/.332/.509 = .840 OPS, 114 OPS+, 2.6 bWAR

“I enjoy making fun myself so it really don’t mind it at all,” he said. “It’s fun and hey, that’s pretty much what the bobblehead thing is all about, right?” - Jake Lamb

Jake Lamb joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as a sth round selection in the 2012 draft. It didn’t take long for him to make an impression. He played short season ball that year, where he immediately showed off the bat on his way to mashing to a .930 OPS. This put him firmly on the path of the fast riser. In 2013, even though he did not appear above high-A ball, he was tabbed for the Arizona Fall LEague. In 2014 he flew through AA-Mobile and AAA-Reno before making the cut as a late-season call-up for Arizona. Lamb made his debut on August 8th, 2014 and finished the season as the team’s starting third baseman. He never looked back.

Lamb’s professional debut was not overwhelming, but it was enough to lightly pencil him in as the team’s starting third baseman for the 2015 season. That winter, the Diamondbacks signed Yasmany Tomás out of Cuba, and gave him some looks at third base. Jake Lamb beat him out as the team’s starter in spring, but then suffered an injury in April that put him on the shelf until June. Once healthy, Lamb pushed Tomás off of third base and has pretty much held it in a death grip since.

In 2016 Lamb upped his game at the plate. He led all of baseball in RBIs at the all-star break , but was omitted from the roster in what many people, fans and players alike, thought was a rather ludicrous slight. The second half of 2016 was not as kind to Lamb. After setting the world afire before the break, he struggled just to a .197/.283/.380 second half. Despite the ice water that was thrown on his bat, he still managed to finish the season worth 2.6 bWAR.

“Yeah, I learned a lot from that second half I had last year just by watching how my swing kind of changed over time. Whether it was because I was tired or whatever the reason was, I watched a ton of film just to make sure. You know, everyone is going to go into slumps and I wanted to make sure that type of slump doesn’t happen again.” - Jake Lamb

Jake Lamb started 2017 much the same way he did in 2016. This time, he spent the all-star break in Miami as a member of the National League team, rather than watching the game from home. Once again though, the second half was not kind to Lamb. While better than his 2016 performance, his .204/.332/.403 -post break triple slash was still underwhelming. These struggles did not prevent Lamb from making plenty of highlight plays over that span of time, including this year’s Snake Pit Play of the Year on August 8th against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Despite his second-half struggles in 2017, Lamb managed to dig deep and find another gear for the playoffs. Though the Diamondbacks only lasted four games into the postseason in 2017, Lamb did his part to keep them there by going 6-for-13 in those games.

Lamb just entered his first year of arbitration eligibility, avoiding a hearing by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4,275,000 for the 2018 season. Despite his issues with the glove and his splits against left-handed pitching, the 27-year-old left-handed power-hitter is positioned as an integral piece of the young core of Diamondbacks poised to make another push for the playoffs in 2018 and possibly beyond.