Jake Lamb was just getting his feet wet in Triple-A. Now he's headed to the Majors.
The D-backs have promoted their No. 5 prospect to the Majors and will start him at third base, batting sixth Thursday against the Royals, the team announced. The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro first reported the news. The club designated third baseman Andy Marte for assignment to make room on the 40- and 25-man rosters for Lamb.
The 22-year-old third baseman had just moved up to Triple-A Reno from Double-A Mobile on Friday and went 9-for-18 with a home run, four doubles, five RBIs and two steals in five games in the Pacific Coast League before the biggest promotion of his career. He had put up a .318/.399/.551 line with 14 homers and 79 RBIs and was a Southern League midseason All-Star with the BayBears before jumping to the Minors' highest level.
The left-handed slugger has hit at every stop up the D-backs' ladder. After Arizona took him in the sixth round of the 2012 Draft out of the University of Washington, Lamb put up a .930 OPS in 67 games at Rookie-level Missoula the same year.
He was set to break out in the hitter-friendly California League during his first full pro season in 2013 but was limited to 64 games with Visalia due to hamate-bone and hamstring injuries. Still, he had a .303/.424/.558 line with 13 homers in that span and was named a Cal League midseason All-Star.
To make up for lost time, the D-backs sent him to the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League last autumn, and he shined there with a .299 average and .802 OPS in 21 games en route to a spot on the AFL All-Prospect Team.
Lamb's hitting prowess has helped him surge up the prospect rankings. MLB.com moved him up to No. 5 in Arizona's system and No. 97 overall following its latest update, and although his offense gets the bulk of the attention, the website gave him 60 grades for both his fielding and arm tools over at the hot corner.
Following the trade of Martin Prado to the Yankees on deadline day, the D-backs have used Marte, Jordan Pacheco and Cliff Pennington at third base, but Lamb should be given every chance to play everyday now that he's with the big club.