The Arizona Diamondbacks will likely be sellers at the MLB trade deadline, but one player, Jake Lamb, will likely be put on the “untouchable” list due to his emergence as a star this season.
Lamb is coming off a season in which he had a .263 batting average, .331 on-base percentage and a .386 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) with just six home runs in 107 games.
This year however, Lamb has the highest jump in OPS (229 points) — thanks to his 20 home runs and a co-share of the most triples in the league with seven — as he has raised that clip to .615.
His batting average has also raised exponentially as it sits at .290, while his on-base percentage has increased to .371.
These improvements can be thanked by a change in his batting stance, according to ESPN.com’s Mark Simon.
“I lowered my hands [in the stance] and got a leg kick going,” Lamb said. “The main goal was to create a bat path where I’m entering the [hitting] zone earlier and leaving the zone later.”
“Once he figured that out,” Diamondbacks hitting coach Dave Magadan said, “it was all she wrote. It wasn’t a one- or two-day thing. It was literally the next swing he took, the adjustment was made.”
His change at the plate has led to much better numbers on inside pitches.
Last year, Lamb had a batting average of .227 with a .319 slugging percentage on inside pitches. In contrast, Lamb has boosted those numbers to .301 and .732, respectively.
In the National League, he ranks eighth in home runs (20), sixth in RBI (61), first in slugging percentage (.615), third in OPS (.615) and first in hard-hit rate (26 percent).