Taking the Next Step: John Lamb

Despite last night’s monstrosity of a game, the Royals minor leagues are providing a steady stream of good news.  In what is becoming a feature here at Kings of Kauffman, another Royals prospect is taking the next step.  In fact, it’s the second next step for this player.

We’re just past two weeks past his 20th birthday, and John Lamb has been promoted from High A Wilmington to Double A Northwest Arkansas.  This follows an earlier midseason promotion, as he was advanced from Low A Burlington to Wilmington back in May.

Lamb started the year as Baseball America’s #7 prospect among Royals minor leaguers and #8 in the Kings of Kauffman rankings. Before the season, he was a bit overlooked, but it’s becoming clear he’s just as valuable to the Royals organization as fellow lefties Mike Montgomery and Danny Duffy.

Yr Tm Lv W L ERA GS IP R ER HR BB K WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
2009 2 Teams Rk 5 3 3.80 14 68.2 34 29 8 20 71 1.121 7.5 1.0 2.6 9.3 3.55
2009 Idaho Falls Rk 3 1 3.70 8 41.1 20 17 4 11 46 1.065 7.2 0.9 2.4 10.0 4.18
2009 Burlington Rk 2 2 3.95 6 27.1 14 12 4 9 25 1.207 7.9 1.3 3.0 8.2 2.78
2010 2 Teams 8 6 1.49 21 114.2 30 19 3 32 133 1.020 6.7 0.2 2.5 10.4 4.16
2010 Burlington A 2 3 1.58 8 40.0 12 7 2 17 43 1.075 5.8 0.4 3.8 9.7 2.53
2010 Wilmington A+ 6 3 1.45 13 74.2 18 12 1 15 90 0.991 7.1 0.1 1.8 10.8 6.00
2 Seasons 13 9 2.36 35 183.1 64 48 11 52 204 1.058 7.0 0.5 2.6 10.0 3.92
Rk (1 season) 5 3 3.80 14 68.2 34 29 8 20 71 1.121 7.5 1.0 2.6 9.3 3.55
A (1 season) 2 3 1.58 8 40.0 12 7 2 17 43 1.075 5.8 0.4 3.8 9.7 2.53
A+ (1 season) 6 3 1.45 13 74.2 18 12 1 15 90 0.991 7.1 0.1 1.8 10.8 6.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/27/2010.

Lamb’s performance in his young career has earned him aggressive advancement, but he’s answered the call every time.  After a fairly modest 2009, Lamb’s only gotten better since his promotion to the Carolina League.  His K/BB numbers have been consistent through all levels and he’s shown a penchant for keeping the ball in the ballpark (disclaimer: he did benefit from 13 starts in the same pitcher-friendly league that subdued Eric Hosmer‘s power numbers).

Despite his demure name, Lamb has a reputation for being unflappable, showing a major league ready demeanor and developing a folkloric following.  Baseball America projected his upside as a #3 starter in the bigs, but there are rumblings that he could be a solid #2 type.

He joins an exciting staff at Northwest Arkansas, where Mike Montgomery will soon make his return after some rehab starts, while Danny Duffy should join the Naturals soon as well after a brief baseball hiatus.  With Chris Dwyer and Edgar Osuna in the mix, you almost forget that Aaron Crow is down there too.

I’m just saying, if they hadn’t already their division in the first half, I’d start making reservations for playoff baseball at Arvest Ballpark.

Lamb’s promotion adds to an already busy July that’s seen the promotion of Wil Myers to Wilmington, Mike Moustakas to Omaha, and Eric Hosmer to Northwest Arkansas (you can also toss Jarrod Dyson, Louis Coleman Jamie Romak and Dwyer to that list if you’re looking for lower profile prospects).

I’d hazard to say that’s not too shabby.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Chris Dwyer Danny Duffy Edgar Osuna Eric Hosmer John Lamb Kansas City Royals KC Louis Coleman Mike Montgomery Mike Moustakas MLB Royals Wil Myers

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