Simply put, it has been a lost year for the Arizona Diamondbacks, struggling from the moment the season started and currently sitting with the third-worst record in the National League. That's due in large part to having the second-worst pitching staff in the NL (Colorado being the only team who has allowed more runs), but the offense hasn't exactly been a world-beater either; it ranks in the bottom half of baseball in a number of offensive categories.
The silver lining for bad teams is it allows opportunities for noncontenders to bring up prospects, and Diamondbacks fans will get a chance to see arguably their most advanced hitting prospect in third baseman Jake Lamb for the rest of 2014.
A sixth-round pick out of the University of Washington in 2012, Lamb has destroyed minor league pitching in his time with the Diamondbacks, slugging well above .500 at most of his stops in his professional career. The left-handed hitting infielder doesn't have elite power, but he's been a doubles machine over his professional career, hitting 39 of them in his time with Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno this season to go along with 15 homers and five triples.
"It seems like every time I saw him, he was putting a baseball into the gap," an AL west scout said. "He's a strong kid, and he does such a really good job of letting the ball travel into the zone so that he can put the ball into those left- and right-centerfield gaps. I think he has the ability to turn some of those doubles into bombs if he shows a little more assertiveness, but one way or another you're looking at a third baseman who can give you 50 to 60 extra-base hits a year. I think most teams will take that."