By the time the 2013 Minor League season had come to a close, Jake Lamb cemented himself as not only the top corner infield prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system, but also as one of the best in baseball.
Lamb is coming off of a season where he hit .303 with 70 hits, 44 runs, 20 doubles, 13 home runs, 47 RBI and .424 OBP in 64 games played with the Visalia Rawhide. He finished the season as the team’s number 11 ranked prospect after starting the 2013 season 18th. He did so while also dealing with multiple injuries that held him out of almost two months of the season.
“It was tough,” said Lamb. “It was more mental because you’re out for a month and a half with a broken hammate bone plus an on-going hamstring injury so I just had to keep my mind right and stay focused when I got to be on the field.”
A lot of the time, when young players that are out to prove themselves are dealing with injuries, it’s common to see them press a little bit at the place and do a little more thinking than when they are healthy. But that focus Lamb maintained allowed him to boast the big numbers he had despite the injuries.
“It’s one of those things where you just cant control it,” Lamb explained. “You’ve just got to deal with it. So, I focused on that and when I was done with that I was ready to go.”
This spring training, the Diamondbacks brought Lamb up with their big league squad as a non-roster invitee. A big opportunity for the 23 year-old from Seattle who has dreams of reaching the big leagues and is also out to prove his future value with this organization.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me just to be around these big league guys,” mentioned Lamb. “Just picking their brains and just to be around this type of competition. So I am excited.”
Being the third baseman of the future, he is taking it upon himself to learn from the Diamondbacks’ third baseman of the present, Martin Prado.
“I’ve been taking ground balls with him and after just two ground balls, he started helping me out with the little things,” said Lamb. “My set up, how I catch the ball, my glove placement. Just little things I don’t think about when I am taking ground balls by myself. He’s helping me out a lot.”
Lamb is taking full advantage of every opportunity. From last fall participating in the Arizona Fall League through his time with the big league squad this spring, it’s all paving the way for what he hopes will be a season even better than the last.
“Just playing hard, take good AB’s, play good defense and have fun.”