While things haven’t gone according to plan for the D-backs this year, their third baseman is having a season to remember.
Jake Lamb enters play Tuesday with a .302 batting average, 21 home runs, 65 RBI and a major league-leading 8 triples. His .635 slugging percentage and 1.015 OPS both lead the National League.
Now in his third major league season, Lamb is putting up big enough numbers to mount a Final Vote campaign, nearly putting him in last week’s All Star Game. On Tuesday, he explained his sudden breakout in an interview with Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“I’ve had some success this year, so I have the confidence every time I step up to the box,” Lamb said. “Consistent approach, the confidence, the swing’s been feeling good, so all those are reasons why I’ve had some continued success.”
Though he missed the chance to play in the midsummer classic, Lamb returned from the break to go 7-for-12 with a home run, two doubles, a triple and four RBI in a three-game set against the Dodgers. From Saturday to Sunday, Lamb had a four-at-bat stretch in which he hit for the cycle.
“That was really cool,” Lamb said. “It’s obviously really cool, there’s so many great players in this league. To be recognized as one of the best players in the National League for that week is a tremendous honor.”
Unfortunately for Lamb, the award came during the shortest “week” of the season, in which teams only got in three games due to the All-Star break. Before the Dodgers series, Lamb wasn’t playing baseball; he was in Seattle, playing mini golf.
“I was kind of joking, I guess they heard that I had a few really good games of putt-putt in Seattle and then I came and swung a good bat against the Dodgers, so I guess I had a good week.”
Lamb’s success is somewhat new; now one of the better hitters in the NL, Lamb hit just .263 last year with six home runs.
“I made a lot of changes offensively in swing mechanics and everything,” he said. “I think it being my second time around the league, seeing pitching, seeing how teams pitch me and everything, and just having confidence. Showing up to the field every day, knowing I’m going to have some good at bats and just play a good game. I think, definitely, being my second time around the league, it’s helped a lot.”