Royals Farm Report

PLAYER PROFILE

John Lamb

Starting pitcher

Northwest Arkansas Naturals

20 years old

Bats: left

Throws: left

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 195

Drafted by Royals in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft

The hottest pitcher in the Royals organization this year just earned a promotion to Northwest Arkansas, a reward for his early-season success in Single-A.

Twenty-year-old John Lamb, an eighth-round draft pick in 2008, was not a highly-touted prospect before this season. But after posting an eye-popping 1.49 earned-run average with 133 strikeouts over 114 innings across both levels of Single-A ball, Lamb is finally turning heads. He leads the Royals’ minor league system in ERA and strikeouts, and he’s also fifth in wins (8), fifth in WHIP (1.02), and third in batting average against (.208).

Lamb is considered the Royals’ seventh-best prospect by Baseball America. The organization also lists Lamb as having the best control of any Royals’ minor league pitcher.

Now he’s in Double-A Northwest Arkansas, and he should make his first appearance soon. Will the pressure of stronger competition get to the young Lamb?

It sure didn’t the last time he was promoted. Lamb was promoted from A- Burlington to A+ Wilmington after only eight starts. Despite his 2-3 record, Lamb had posted a 1.58 ERA in those starts and kept opponents to a .188 average. If anything, he’s gotten better since the promotion: a 6-3 record and a 1.45 ERA over 13 starts at Wilmington, including 90 strikeouts and only 15 walks over 74.2 innings.

Is John Lamb a part of the Kansas City Royals in the immediate future? No. He’ll likely spend the rest of the season in Double-A and will probably start there again next season. But look for him to get serious consideration in Spring Training and perhaps a promotion to Triple-A Omaha next season.

After that, Lamb could project as a solid middle-of-the-rotation candidate for the Royals.

MiLB WEEKLY ROUNDUP

AAA – Omaha Royals

Record to date: 55-51, fourth place in the PCL American North

The past week: 4-5, including two doubleheader splits against New Orleans on consecutive days.

Transactions: Alex Gordon was promoted to Kansas City from Omaha; Jarrod Dyson moved up from Northwest Arkansas to the O-Royals; Gil Meche was sent to Omaha from Northwest Arkansas to continue his rehab assignment; Meche’s rehab assignment ended; Bryan Bullington was promoted to the MLB team; Manauris Baez was demoted to Wilmington; Greg Holland was promoted to Kansas City; Anthony Lerew was sent from the Royals to the O-Royals; and Victor Marte was promoted to Kansas City.

Coming up: The O-Royals travel to Memphis for a series tonight, then host Portland for four games to wrap up next week before Tacoma comes to town for a four-game set next weekend.

AA – Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Record to date: 20-12 in the second half (first place), 63-40 overall

The past week: 2-5, losing three out of four against Springfield.

Transactions: Shane Costa was promoted from Wilmington; Jarrod Dyson was sent up to Omaha; Gil Meche was sent to the O-Royals to continue his rehab assignment; Costa was placed on the seven-day disabled list; Chris Chavez was activated from the DL; Edgar Osuna was promoted to Omaha; and John Lamb was received from Wilmington.

Coming up: The Naturals head back to Springfield for five games, including a Sunday doubleheader, and then come home to host the Tulsa Drillers for three games and the Arkansas Travelers for a four-game set.

A+ – Wilmington Blue Rocks

Record to date: 20-14 in the second half (first place), 52-52 overall

The past week: 4-4, winning two out of three against Potomac

Transactions: Adrian Ortiz was activated from the temporarily inactive list; Danny Duffy was sent up to Northwest Arkansas; Manauris Baez was promoted all the way to Omaha; Josh Worrell was called up from A- Burlington; Eric Basurto was placed on the 7-day disabled list; and Shane Costa was promoted to the Naturals.

Coming up: The Blue Rocks finish a series with Kinston this weekend before traveling to Winston-Salem and Salem next week.

Paulo Orlando

POSITION PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Paulo Orlando, left fielder, Northwest Arkansas Naturals

8 for 25, .320 batting average, 1 home run, four RBI

Orlando has been one of the Naturals’ hottest hitters this season, hitting at a .343 clip over 88 games in the outfield for Northwest Arkansas. He has also clubbed 48 RBIs and now that Mike Moustakas has been promoted to Omaha, he leads the team in batting average.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Patrick Keating, closer, Northwest Arkansas Naturals

3 games, 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 save, 2 K

Keating leads the Royals’ minor league system in saves this year, pitching as a closer for both Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas. He has dominated opposing hitters in the late innings with a 1.96 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 55 innings.

Matt Kelsey is a Royals writer for I-70 Baseball. Contact him at mattkelsey@i70baseball.com.

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