Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Arizona Fall League Scouting Report: Andrew Lambo
Andrew Lambo (Pirates Outfielder)
From: Newbury Park High School, CA (Drafted by Dodgers in 4th round of 2007 draft)
The Pirates acquired Lambo (along with James McDonald) from the Dodgers at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Octavio Dotel to LA. Both McDonald and Lambo are very talented but haven’t seen their tools translate to the field. It was a good trade for the Pirates who seem to be heading in the right direction (toward the top of the league in draft spending this year) as an organization. Everyone says they feel bad for Pirates fans, and while it is a shame that the franchise has been the butt of baseball jokes for almost 20 years, don’t feel bad for their fans. They have the Steelers and Penguins who are plenty good enough. Fuck you, Pittsburgh. Stop complaining.
Lambo’s talent has never been in question. His character, however, has always been a huge issue. The concerns about his makeup are largely what caused him to fall to the 4th round of the ’07 draft. He began his pro career on a tear and was named the Dodger’s #1 prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2009 season. I had a chance to see the good and bad sides of Lambo while I was in Arizona. Lambo is a boom or bust type of prospect and a big part of his future will be determined by his attitude and work ethic.
The good is his raw pull power. He has a simple swing with good leverage (you can see it in the BP video I posted below). He killed fastballs all weekend and, while his power is greatest when he pulls the ball, he can hit balls into the gap the other way as well.
He has below average speed and won’t help much on the basepaths.
Lambo played first base in high school and I think he’d be an above average defender at first if he were asked to play their everyday. The Pirates have kept him in the outfield where his poor range is redeemed a bit by his above average arm. While he can’t throw as fast and far as you’d like a right fielder to throw, he is very accurate.
The bad has been his on field behavior. Arguing loudly with an umpire (attendance is sparse here, so I could hear every word, and arguing in a Fall League game? Who cares dude?) and, after flinging his bat into the seats on a swing and miss, he held up the game until the young fan who was nearly killed by the bat gave it back bat. On his next swing, Lambo lost grip of the bat again and flung it right back into same spot, and once again made a big fuss about getting his precious bat back.
He’s already been suspended once for marijuana usage, but I couldn’t care less unless it negatively impacts his work ethic or ability to play the game. I am, however, concerned about the immaturity he's shown and the fact that the Dodgers were fed up enough with him to exile a potential star at age 22, because that's a potential sign that he's not going to fare well with coaches trying to help him improve or teammates who will have little patience for bullshit.