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Will Lamb Scouting Report
After the jump, we continue by taking a look at the player tied for #25 in the LSB Community Prospect Rankings, lefthanded pitcher Will Lamb...
Will Lamb is a 6'6", 180 lb. lefthanded pitcher who the Rangers drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Clemson. Lamb was a two-way player in college, as he was the Tigers' starting centerfielder when not taking the mound, and there were some who thought Lamb would be drafted as a hitter rather than a pitcher, particularly given his lack of experience on the mound. The Rangers taking Lamb in the second round was seen as a reach by some, and Baseball America, in their pre-draft preview, had said that Lamb could be taken "as soon as the fourth round," two rounds later than the Rangers actually grabbed him.
Nevertheless, Lamb was the high draft choice of Texas that got the most positive reaction immediately post-draft, as some scouts viewed him as having a significant amount of raw, untapped potential as a pitcher. Lamb was initially assigned to Spokane in the short-season A Northwest League, and he flashed the potential that had the Rangers so excited about him, striking out 42 batters in 37 innings, albeit against 23 walks. After a late season promotion to Hickory, Lamb struck out 20 and walked 8 in 18.2 innings over 4 starts, ending up the season with a 2.75 ERA between the two levels.
Lamb's fastball velocity seems to be more variable than most pitchers his age, but he can touch 97 mph and has a slider that shows promise as a swing-and-miss pitch. Those two pitches alone, if he can command them at all, would be enough to give him potential as a weapon out of the bullpen. Lamb doesn't turn 22 until September, and the Rangers will likely seek to take things slowly with him, as they work on his mechanics and a third pitch while getting him accustomed to being a full-time pitcher for a full season for the first time in his career.
Lamb will likely start the 2012 season in low-A Hickory. As with many of the Rangers pitching prospects, he could come in a hurry if the team decided to make him a reliever, potentially as soon as late 2013 or 2014. As a starter, Lamb would have a lengthier journey to the majors, but with his height and velocity, his ceiling as a starter is significantly higher. If Lamb can make progress with a third pitch this year and make it through the season healthy, he should shoot up the prospect rankings.