The MLB All-Star Game featured 24 first-time All-Stars, and one of those 24 was Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb.
This year, Lamb is second in RBIs among third baseman, trailing only Colorado’s Nolan Arenado in that category.
With 20 home runs and 67 RBIs in the first half, the Diamondback third baseman is well on his way to surpassing his career best 29 home runs and 91 RBIs, which he achieved in 2016. Along with fellow All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb has been the centerpiece of a Diamondback lineup that is fifth in the national league in runs scored.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 12, 2017
Two former Diamondbacks are very familiar with playing the hot corner at Chase Field, though it was B.O.B. when they graced the field. Matt Williams and Shea Hillenbrand are impressed by Lamb’s progression in his young career.
“He is swinging the bat well,” Hillenbrand said. “It’s nice to see a left-handed hitting third baseman, kind of like Eric Chavez. It’s great to see a young kid come out here and have consistency the second year and third year in the game.”
Williams, who hit 99 home runs and drove in 381 runs in six seasons with the Diamondbacks, is impressed with Lamb’s ability to string together multiple productive years early in his career.
“I just think he’s finding himself,” Williams said. “Coming up early and try to get established is one thing. To stay in the big leagues is another. I think he’s found his swing and I think he’s found his comfort level at third. There’s a lot of factors that help him get to a point where he is a contender for the All-Star Game every year, so I’m pleased with the way he is going about it.”.
Managing The Team
Williams, who won the 2014 manager of the year award with the Washington Nationals, also had high praise for this year’s team and the leadership of first-year manager Torey Lovullo.
“We have to look at a lot of factors. Last year, the team was just decimated by injury,” Williams said. “There were so many injuries, it’s just difficult to come back from. The core group is really good, good young players. Torey and his staff have come in and pointed the team in the direction that they want them to go in. They’re playing good defense, they’re pitching well. It starts with the guys who are on the bump. The formula is working.”
We’ll see how the formula takes shape in the second half of the season.