The Pittsburgh Pirates have been looking all season for a player to step up and take the everyday right field job. Travis Snider was given the first opportunity at the beginning of the season; he started the season hitting for a high average and drawing a lot of walks. However, Snider, a former top prospect with the Toronto Blue Jays because of his power, wasn’t hitting for any power. Eventually Snider would go on the disabled list and Jose Tabata would take over in right field. Tabata, coming off of two straight poor seasons, had hopes of returning to the opposite field hitting machine that he was early in his career. Unfortunately, Tabata hasn’t been able to gain his consistency back.
Now, the Pirates have promoted former Los Angeles Dodgers‘ top prospect Andrew Lambo. Lambo has tons of power, but it is accompanied by plenty of strikeouts. Lambo will likely get plenty of chances to earn the job in right field due to injuries and lack of performance from the other options on the team. In 491 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, Lambo combined for a .284/.350/.576 slash line with 31 home runs and 97 RBI. Compared to the .256/.335/.381 slash line and .219/.287/.322 slash line of Tabata and Snider respectively, Lambo’s numbers make him appear to be the second-coming of Babe Ruth.
Lambo obviously won’t be able to hit 31 home runs with the Pirates this season, because there is only a little over a month left before the end of the regular season. However, he may be able to finally give the Pirates some power from the right field position. Even if Lambo hits for a .250/.330/.450 slash line with four or five home runs, that would be better than anything the Pirates could get from anyone else in right field.