Prospect Highlights: Andrew Lambo Breaks Homerless Drought

Back in late September, Andrew Lambo homered for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Cincinnati Reds. He then had a couple a-bats with the Pirates, went to Winter ball, took part in Spring Training and played 21 games with Indianapolis without hitting another homer. That all changed on Tuesday afternoon and as you will see in the video below, the highlight might be the relief on his face. He was still having a very good season without hitting any homers, but it’s obviously a good sign to see.

Also from Tuesday, Chris McGuiness hits a two-run homer, which put Indianapolis in the lead and they won by that same 3-2 score. He is a forgotten player over at first base, but he has an .828 OPS so far.

One highlight from Altoona. Nick Kingham didn’t have a strong start yesterday, it was in fact pretty bad. He had just one strikeout, although that punch out made for an interesting highlight, which was seeing the movement on his pitch.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • maguro

    Sure looked like a curveball to me.

  • deacs

    Any chance we see Lambo as the 4th OF in 2014 or does Tabata’s contract and Snider’s ability to play just well enough prohibit ths?

  • Patrick Kelly

    Good for Andrew. Kid was pressing so much in ST and he has come out on fire to start the season. The HR numbers will come, but what is more impressive to me is that he is hitting the ball so well for extra bases. I was not happy when the Bucs got Ike and it just seems like a shame that now that they have him, Lambo will have to wait until at least 2015 to get a shot again. That is unless Ike gets hurt like normal.

    • R Edwards

      Yes, with the acquisition of Davis, the Pirates have painted themselves into a corner with him – regardless of how well or poorly he performs. They can’t send him down to get his act together and they are not likely to release him – even if he is hitting .160. Imagine that PR problem – releasing a player when we may later be announcing we are sending the Mets a top prospect for him!! Not good. The Pirates were impatient on this one. Now, they have hitched their wagon to Davis for 2014 and possibly 2015.

  • piraddict

    When I look at Lambo I see the possibility of a Joey Votto like firstbaseman. Anybody else see that?

    • Cato the Elder

      You must be referring to the fact that you almost never see either of them without a hat, in which case I see it, too!

      • piraddict

        Pretty funny Cato!

      • emjayinTN

        CtE: Priceless. piraddict – there are many of us who think the kid is a very nice prospect, and we have patiently waited for him to figure it out for himself, but Votto-like? I was a charter member in the “Lambo in the majors by 2012″ club after the trade from LA in 2010. And thank you John for mentioning that Chris McGuiness is quietly posting some nice numbers, and is overlooked, which is nothing new for him.

        • piraddict

          Emjay and Cato,
          To say that someone is like someone else is not to say that that person is his equal. It is to say that they remind you of the person. When I watch Joey Votto I see someone who protects the plate, hits to the opposite field often, is more likely to hit a double than a home run (though he’ll get his 25+ per year) and ends up with a .440 OBP. What I see Lambo doing now is a .400+ OBP, double machine, hitting to the opposite field when appropriate. Will he do it as well as Votto? In all likelihood no, but who does? Votto is a perennial allstar with off the chart skills. But could Lambo emulate Votto and end up with a .280/.350/.500/.850 line, a Votto-lite persona if you will. Certainly within the realm of possibility to my mind.

    • freddylang

      Lambo will be 26 in a few months and strikes out a ton so I don’t see him suddenly becoming Joey Votto. I would be happy with a slightly better Garrett Jones. I have been thinking about the whole Ike Davis acquisition that I was slightly in favor of. (PTBN Pending before I judge the deal though.) Just the fact that they acquired Davis and went with Ishikawa earlier is kind of a damning sign for Lambo for sure. I’ve heard Huntington say countless times that spring training doesn’t necessarily win or lose you a job…we all have heard it over and over…so either Lambo’s spring sent him back to Indy and then they panicked a little and pulled the trigger on Ike or they don’t think highly of Lambo. (Although they seemed to in the offseason by protecting him and giving him every opportunity to win the job.) I do know that if Lambo keeps hitting at Indy and Davis struggles it’s gonna be a rough situation because you can’t just bail on Davis the guy you went after.
      I have been a big supporter of NH in the past but I feel like they had a shaky offseason and it is continuing now. Ike Davis is not a world beater so if you didn’t need him all spring and the first 3 weeks…why suddenly pull the trigger? I feel like they should have either gotten him before the season or not at all. Regardless of what happens I don’t think there is much of a gap between Davis and Lambo. Ike maybe draws more walks and maybe better defense but Lambo shows more all around hitting ability. This was an extra long post but this whole situation bothers me and is a microcosm of the season so far.

      • piraddict

        Apparently NH out waited the Mets brass and the acquisition price became cheap enough to pull the trigger on the deal. I don’t object to that, but I do object to the apparent inconsistency in the objective for the skillset at 1B. If you wanted Ike Davis why were you in the market for Loney and why did you bring in McGuiness? To my mind the Pirates need to improve OBP not add additional swing and miss power. Pedro provides enough of that. A good defensive first baseman with high OBP potential would seem to be what the Pirates need. Unfortunately neither Lambo or McGuiness had an impressive Spring. But why not be patient to see if one or the other showed up big in Indy? To my mind I would rather see either ambo r if not Lambo McGuiness at 1B instead of Ike because of the Pirates overall need or better OBP production.

        • R Edwards

          Until we know who the PTBNL is, I will refrain from agreeing that “NH out waited the Mets”. We have told to be prepared that is a “significant piece” – which is cause for great concern, especially given Davis’ performance to date.