Jake Lamb is Close to Fully-Fledged Stardom
The 2017 MLB season has been dominated by young studs, as rookies Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger lead the league in homers and are front-runners for the MVP award. Judge and Bellinger have captured all the attention, leaving budding star Jake Lamb under the radar. While he hasn’t hit as many mammoth homers as the other two, in his second full year Lamb is close to full-fledged stardom.
Lamb has elite power out of the third base position, hitting 29 homers and driving in 91 in his first year in the majors. Lamb is continuing to show his hitting prowess this season, as it is before the All-Star Break and Lamb already has 17 homers and 62 RBI. The advanced statistics back up his power profile. Lamb hits the ball hard about 37% of the time, and more importantly limits weak contact (bloopers, pop outs, slow ground outs) to only 10%. The numbers showcase a hitter that has been stroking the ball throughout his young career.
While many videos of Bellinger’s or Judge’s homers are circulating the web, check out a couple of Lamb’s recent homers. Lamb has a strong swing that when coupled with his 6-3 215 pound frame creates mashed baseballs.
Jake Lamb just roped a solo shot to right field giving the Dbacks a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 6th pic.twitter.com/KIBDLzXH7p
Strong Plate Skills
For only being in his second full season, Lamb has particularly impressive plate skills. Lamb’s walk rate is 13.4%, improved from 10.8% in 2016. Lamb, like most star sluggers, has a great eye at the plate and is a sign for even better things to come. Some might point out his 25.9% strikeout rate as a potential red flag; however this strikeout rate is actually decent for a slugger, as many have rates pushing 30%. While this rate is okay, it would be nice to see some improvement in the strikeout department.
This is the one thing holding Lamb back from being a star. His inability to routinely hit lefties is hurting his potential and his team, as he has to ride the pine when his team faces southpaws. Lamb is hitting an elite .327 vs righties but is hitting a paltry .125 vs lefties. To fully become a star, Lamb needs to work on this part of his game.