The Athletics have claimed outfielder Andrew Lambo off waivers from the Pirates, Oakland announced today. Lambo, 27, missed much of the season as he battled plantar fasciitis.
Lambo’s calling card is his pop, which emerged in a huge 2013 campaign in which he blasted 32 long balls in 501 plate appearances (split between Double-A and Triple-A). After slashing .328/.389/.563 in his 262 Triple-A plate appearances in 2014, it seemed that Lambo was on his way to becoming an interesting power piece in the majors.
That could still come to pass, and Oakland is an interesting place for him to land. It remains to be seen what the A’s have in mind for Lambo, who has only seen minimal MLB playing time. But the club relied on several unproven players last year, including Rule 5 pick Mark Canha, and it’s plausible to imagine Lambo functioning as one left-handed-hitting component of a broader corner outfield/first base/DH rotation.
Of course, as Baseball America noted in rating Lambo the Pirates’ 21st-best prospect before the 2014 season, power is the only plus tool in his arsenal. It remains to be seen whether his in-game, MLB power output can ever be sufficient to make up for his lesser-regarded skills, such as the “fringe-average” baserunning and outfield defensive grades he got from BA.