Players You Forgot the Pittsburgh Pirates Drafted: Part 3

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 12: Jake Lamb #22 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 12, 2019 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 11-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 12: Jake Lamb #22 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 12, 2019 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 11-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Jake Lamb

Arizona Diamondbacks’ slugger, Jake Lamb, was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round of the 2009 draft. Lamb didn’t sign with the Bucs that year, and would eventually be picked by the Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2012 draft.

Lamb quickly found his way throughout pro ball. In his first two professional seasons in 2012 and 2013, he posted an OPS above .900 in both years. In 2014, he had a minor league OPS of .973, and was ranked as the 78th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.

However, the success Lamb had with the bat in the minors didn’t translate to the MLB immediately. His first 523 plate appearances in 2014 and 2015 yielded a line of just .254/.314/.382 with an 88 OPS+ and 10 home runs. However, he did post some pretty good numbers at the hot corner including a +16 defensive runs saved mark, 4.3 UZR and .4 range runs.

But in 2016 and 2017, Lamb would have almost identically strong seasons back-to-back. Overall, he hit .248/.345/.498 with 59 long balls and a 113 OPS+. Lamb’s power finally came around with 29 home runs in 2015 and 30 in 2016. He also had an isolated slugging of .249. But as his defense took off, his defense was some of the worst in baseball (-14 DRS, -19.3 UZR, -13.9 range runs). Regardless, he made the All-Star Game in 2016.

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But in the last two seasons, Lamb has regressed back to a glove only kind of player. He has hit just .208/.315/.350 with a dozen home runs. However, his glove has bounced back to a +6 DRS, -1.6 UZR and -3 range runs. But some of his struggles can be attributed to his struggles with injuries. He has played just 134 games in total the past two years after playing 300 in 2016 and 2017.

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