(BaseballStL) -- While the Cardinals brought up two young arms in Michael Wacha and Sam Freeman as well as rested Adam Wainwright in anticipation of a crucial series with the Pirates, Pittsburgh has brought up a young star of their own for Tuesday’s opener.
Drafted in 2007, Andrew Lambo was taken in the fourth round by the Dodgers. Then just 18, he was an intriguing prospect with a bit of pop in the bat. In 2010, the was traded to the Pirates and began a slow and steady climb to major league play.
After bouncing back and forth between AAA and AA, Lambo- 25 years old as of Sunday- found traction in 2013.
Between his time in Altoona (AA) and Indianapolis (AAA) the big-swinging lefty has belted 31 homers and drove in 97 RBIs in his 491 plate appearances (he drew 43 walks).
Lambo’s slash line of .284/.350/.576 is formidable and he’s chewed up 251 total bases in 2013. His seven years in the minors have yielded a steadily-improving resume, with only one blemish: strikeouts.
In his career, he’s struck out in about 23 percent of his at bats. This year, he’s up to 28 percent. While there are plenty of major leaguers with percentages in the high 30s, the league average is just below 20 percent.
Lambo’s strikeout numbers aren’t critical, but they do expose a weak point- one Cardinal hurlers may do well to exploit if the young prospect comes to the plate this week.