Heading into the 2012 season, Baseball America ranked left-hander John Lamb as the Kansas City Royals sixth best prospect, despite the fact that he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Lamb was on the fast track to the big leagues after dominating Class A ball in 2010. Then he strained his oblique during 2011’s spring training and lost velocity. However, when the velocity did not return when his oblique was healthy, he succumbed to TJS. He was the Royals top pitching prospect prior to the surgery.
Lamb commanded his fastball and changeup well before the surgery and because of his feel for his delivery, the Royals believe the command will return.
Unfortunately, it has been a bumpy road of recovery for Lamb. He hurt his ankle early in 2012 that set him back. He was FINALLY back on the mound in a game on August 14th for Surprise in the Arizona Rookie League. He made four starts there before finishing the season with rookie level Idaho Falls (two starts).
The kiddie gloves will still be on in 2013 for Lamb, as he will be hitting the two year removed from TJS mark, but since he has yet to take on much of a workload, they will have to be careful with him. The Royals could keep him in extended spring training to start the 2013 season and slowly move him up the ranks. I’m hopeful that Lamb makes a stop in Wilmington so I can see his progress.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star ranks Lamb as the Royals third best prospect. MLB.com has Lamb ranking ninth. He was added to the Royals 40 man roster on Tuesday.