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Top prospect Lamb called up for big league debut

PHOENIX -- When the D-backs traded third baseman Martin Prado to the Yankees on July 31, prospect Jake Lamb knew his chance in the Major Leagues may be coming soon.

He could not have guessed it would be only a week before he was suiting up at a locker in Chase Field.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it [after the trade]," Lamb said. "I was in the trainer's room talking with one of our trainers, and one of the guys came in and showed me the Twitter feed, and I started shaking a little bit. I thought it was going to be my turn."

Lamb made his Major League debut for the D-backs on Thursday night, going 1-for-4. His first hit -- a line-drive single to left field -- scored the D-backs' second run in a 6-2 loss.

"Jam shot over third base, that's how I dreamed it," Lamb joked after the game.

Lamb got tested early in the game, as both of the first two outs came his way.

"Those first couple plays kind of got rid of it right away," Lamb said of his nervousness. "It wasn't too bad."

Lamb never got a chance to get a feel for Reno. He hadn't even found a place to live before finding out the D-backs were bringing him to the Majors. He played five games for the Aces -- an impressive five games at that. He hit .500 (9-for-18) with a home run and four doubles.

"When I was going to Reno, I was kind of settled in: I'm going to make a playoff run with this team," Lamb said. "It was a good experience for those five days."

Lamb has excelled at all levels of the Minor Leagues since he was drafted out of the University of Washington in the sixth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

For his Minor League career, Lamb has a .321/.406/.553 slash line with 37 home runs and 193 RBIs.

"He's got a great bat," manager Kirk Gibson said, "and we're in need of offense."

Gibson said Lamb would be the primary third baseman going forward, and he will likely bat in the lower half of the order. Gibson slotted him in the No. 6 spot for his Major League debut on Thursday.

"I hope he handles it well," Gibson said. "He's going to be our third baseman. That's not to say he'll play every game. I don't want to overwhelm the kid."

Said Lamb: "It just says they have confidence in me and they think I can play a little bit. As a player, that's huge. When your teammates and when your coaching staff believe in you, that's something every player wants."

Lamb does have exhibition experience with the Major League team. He played in 12 Spring Training games with the team in 2013 and '14. While he was with the team in the spring, Lamb said he learned as much as he could from Prado and now-retired third baseman Eric Chavez.

"I was getting as much info from them as possible," Lamb said. "They've been around the game for a while. … They're great teammates, and that's something I try to be: a great player and a better teammate."

Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for
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