KoK Prospect #8: John Lamb

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John Lamb checks in at #8 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: John M. Lamb
DOB: 7/10/1990 Laguna Hills, California
Position: LHP
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Acquired: 2008 Draft (5th Round)

Rankings:
~ Baseball America #7
~ Diamond Futures #9
~ Royals Review #10
~ The Royal Tower #8
~ John Sickels B-
~ Baseball Prospectus #10

Stats:

IP ERA WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 Idaho Falls (Rk) 41.1 3.70 1.07 7.2 2.4 10.0 4.2
2009 Burlington (Rk) 27.1 3.95 1.21 7.9 3.0 8.2 2.8

John Lamb is the embodiment of the change in draft philosophy that occurred when Dayton Moore took over as GM. He was injured in a car accident during high school and missed his senior season recovering from the fractured elbow that was a by-product of that accident.  Undeterred and confident in their scouting the Royals selected him in the 5th round, paid him $165,000 to sign, and got a top notch talent in return.  He returned to action in 2009 after missing all of 2008 recovering and rehabbing from his injury.  Just staying healthy and making his scheduled starts would have been enough for me.  Instead he went out and impressed to the point that he was promoted from Burlington to Idaho Falls after just 6 starts.  Even more encouraging was the fact that in the process of moving up a level, he improved across the board and got better as the season went on.  He dropped his H/9, BB/9, WHIP, and ERA while increasing his SO/9 and SO/BB.  It was an impressive season for the 19-year old lefty to say the least.

He currently throws a low 90s fastball to go with a curveball and changeup.  All three of his pitches project to be major league average or better which gives him a chance to be a legitimate middle of the rotation starter.  He has good command for his age, but Lamb’s ability and potential go beyond his stuff and command.  Baseball America touches on this other aspect in the BA 2010 Prospect Handbook.

He’s a 19 year old who pitches like a major league veteran, never getting rattled.

To kick off 2010, the Royals assigned Lamb to the Lo-A Burlington Bees to serve as the team’s ace.  For the second season in a row he has been his team’s opening day starter.  He’s made two starts thus far in 2010 and has a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched.  On the young season, Lamb has allowed 4 hits and 6 walks to go along with 11 strikeouts.  He pitched today and threw a one-hit shutout in 4.2 innings of work.  Opponents are hitting just 0.143 off of him.  Many have and are predicting a breakout year from John Lamb in 2010.  I see no reason to disagree with that assessment and the early returns through two starts definitely have his prospect star on the rise.

If you have a subscription to Baseball America, Lamb was featured in the March 19th Royals organization report.

Also if you are interested, John Lamb’s father posted a video of John pitching at the Royals spring training facility at the end of March.

(Wally Fish is the lead writer for Kings of Kauffman, Call to the Pen and is also FanSided’s MLB Director.  You can keep up to date with all of his work by following him on FacebookTwitter or by way of the Kings of Kauffman RSS feed.)

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Tags: AL Central Baseball John Lamb Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals

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