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The Braves have reportedly signed third baseman Jake Lamb. Giving him all of Spring Training to showcase his abilities & determine where he’ll fit in on this 2021 roster.
WHO HE WAS
Lamb debuted in MLB with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, out of Bishop Blanchet HS in Seattle, Washington.
He stayed with the Diamondbacks until he was Designated For Assignment by the ball club last season. During the six & a half seasons with Arizona he slashed .239/.329/.433/.762 with 81 homeruns, 303 RBI, & 18 stolen bases.
The accumulative stats should be taken with a grain of salt however, seeing as he’s battled injuries the past three seasons; limiting him to 165 games total.
Lamb was picked up by the Oakland Athletics after being DFA’d by Arizona. Appearing in 13 games with 45 at-bats. His abbreviated Oakland tenure yielded a .267/.327/.556/.882 with 5 runs, 12 hits, 4 doubles, 3 homeruns, 9 RBI, & 8 strikeouts.
WHO HE IS
The Atlanta Braves Jake Lamb, in my opinion, is an insurance move by Alex Anthopoulos in the event the National League Designated Hitter is implemented in the eleventh hour, but as a left-handed power bat off the bench as the NL’s DH situation stands now.
Last season, Lamb was better than his 30 HR, 2017 All-Star self in: Exit Velocity, Launch Angle, Sweet Spot Percentage, & Hard Hit Percentage.
Lamb has a good eye at the dish. He swings at 66.1% of pitches in the zone, while only chasing 23.7% of balls outside the strike zone. When he does chase, he has a dead-on 50% Contact Percentage.
He hit all three of his 2020 homeruns in his 18 games with Oakland last season. According to Baseball Savant, two of his three homeruns a year ago were considered “No Doubters”. If Lamb would’ve played last season in Atlanta, he would’ve hit four homeruns instead of three. Around the rest of the NL East ballparks, he would’ve had: four in Miami, five in New York, four in Washington, & five in Philadelphia. So his power not only plays in the NL East, it improves in the NL East.
Just don’t ask him to stretch any hits into extra bases, his sprint speed in 2020 was 26.7 ft/sec; good enough for 240th in Major League Baseball.