PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – He’s once again in the mix. Andrew Lambo may be on the cusp of finally realizing his full potential. Better “late” than never.
Lambo’s been a pro for a while. He’s about to embark on his eighth professional season.
So, that’s why people may assume he’s older than his 1988 birthday. He won’t be 26 until August. While not young by any stretch in the modern, prospect-driven world we now live in, there’s still time for Lambo to have a long, successful major league career.
Perhaps 2014 will be the year. If he can break out and solidify himself as a bona fide MLB hitter, it could turn out to be a huge coo for the Pirates. Lambo’s “Peak Power Years” – his age 29, 30 and 31 seasons will all be at a perfect time for the budget-conscious Bucs. His free agency clock doesn’t run out until 2020 – right at the tail end of those great years that power hitters seem crescendo.
The Pirates are hoping that Lambo can translate his age 24 season that was highlighted by an OPS of .910 in Double-A Altoona (along with his 14 homers) and the .933 Triple-A OPS that came with 18 homers to the majors.
The fact that Lambo has put himself back on the map after some long, grueling years in the minors has made it fun to come to the park.
“Every day I’m racing to the field,” he said.
Lambo, despite downplaying the fact he’s in a battle for playing time, will have every opportunity to seize a role similar to what Garrett Jones had in Pittsburgh – and maybe more.
Lambo will likely see action against right-handed pitching in right field at times, but the Bucs are hopeful that he can step up and produce at first base – a position that is in desperate need of regular, left-handed production.
“Competition, I don’t really look at it like that,” Lambo said. “We’ve got some good guys over there competing at first base and I just try to learn as much as I can from them.”
The Pirates hope Lambo can learn and learn quickly. If he does, Lambo can be a big answer to an even bigger question for the Bucs.
Listen to the full interview here:
Dan Zangrilli is the Pirates pre-game and post-game show host and a former minor league baseball play-by-play broadcaster that spent five seasons calling games for both Pittsburgh and St. Louis Cardinals affiliates. You can follow Dan on twitter @DanZangrilli