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Thursday, May 8, 2008 | By Alex Eisenberg

Helium Watch: Dodgers Prospect Andrew Lambo

Background

Andrew Lambo was the Los Angeles Dodgers' fourth round pick in 2007 out of Newbury High School in California. Projected to go in the second round, character issues caused his stock to drop.

Body Type

At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Lambo has a projectable body. Not the swiftest of runners, but a good athlete overall. HIs position will likely be at either first base or one of the corner outfield spots.

The Swing

Andrew Lambo of the Los Angeles Dodgers Andrew Lambo

Lambo has a simple, quiet swing until he starts rotating those hips and moving those hands forward. You see a forward shift in weight to build up momentum, a small loading of the hands, and then at foot plant he turns his hips and hands together aggressively.

Rather than achieving "extension", Lambo lets the ball travel to him instead of letting his hands meet the ball (which saps a player of much of their power). Letting the ball travel deep is an excellent indicator of bat speed.

What the Numbers Tells Us

Before exploring his numbers, it should be pointed out the sample size is small and the levels of competition are not all that tough.

Now, judging by his numbers, we see he has shown very solid plate discipline thus far in his career (13.5 BB% last year in Rookie Ball and 9.6% in Low-A Great Lakes). The contact he makes is usually hard (.399 BABIP last year and a .348 BABIP plus a 24% line drive percentage this year).

Already displaying solid power in his rookie year, we have seen an uptick in his ISO-power this year (from .174 to .223).

On the downside, his strikeouts are way up from a year ago (K% of 16 to 28.7) and he is currently struggling some after an extremely hot start.

For a full reading of Lambo's stats, click here.

One other thing to note is Lambo's age:

Lambo, now 19, will turn 20 years old in August and is the eighth youngest player in the Midwest League. This is the biggest reason why some extended slumps and a high K% don't necessarily concern me because of the big leap in competition from Rookie to A-ball. He is essentially a sophomore playing with a bunch of seniors at the varsity level right now.

Final Thoughts

My feeling is at some point in the next couple years, Lambo will break out in a big way. I can't say he will do so this year because of the adjustments he will have to make as he faces higher levels of competition, but at some point age will become irrelevant.

We see a player with a projectable body, good athleticism, and a pretty swing that generates plenty of bat speed and is putting up very credible numbers at a very young age. This is why Andrew Lambo is under Baseball-Intellect's Helium Watch.

Grade:
8 Upside, Low Probability
6.5 Mid-Level, Average Probability
5 Downside, Low Probability

For an explanation of this grading scale, please click here

As we move forward, Baseball-Intellect will feature more players that could have a Helium-type breakout, so check back soon.


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