PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) named infielder Jake Lamb (@JakeLamb18) and right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair (@A_Blair19) the organization's Player and Pitcher of the Year, as announced by D-backs' Director, Player Development Mike Bell.
Lamb, 23, hit .327 (128-for-392) with 39 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI and 63 runs scored in 108 games between Double- A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He was tabbed as the Southern League's Most Outstanding Player, claiming the League's batting title with a .318 average (119-for-374) and was tabbed as a Second-Team Minor League All-Star by Baseball America after ranking among Minor Leaguers in extra-base hits (3rd, 59), OPS (9th, .973), RBI (11th) and total bases (17th, 222) before his Major League promotion on Aug. 8. Lamb was named a Southern League midseason All-Star, starting at third base for the South Division, and garnered SL Player of the Week honors from June 9-15. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was named Mobile's Player of the Month for June and the Organizational Player of the Month for July. Entering the season, Lamb was rated as the club's No. 9 Prospect by MLB.com, the No. 10 Prospect by Baseball America, and possessing the Best Strike Zone Discipline. The Seattle native was drafted by the D-backs in the sixth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Washington.
"Jake had a tremendous year as the numbers will show," said Bell. "However, the numbers will not show how he accumulated them. Jake continually came up with the big hit or big play in key games in Mobile as well as his brief stint in Reno. Jake was selected to the Major League Roster in August but not before helping both Mobile and Reno reach the playoffs. Jake is a winning player and we are fortunate to have him on our team.
Blair, 22, combined to go 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA (61 ER in 154.1 IP) in 27 games (all starts) between Single-A South Bend, Single-A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. He led his respective league in strikeouts during the months of April (Midwest League, 43) and June (California League, 39), striking out 171 batters on the season, tied for the second-most among all Minor League pitchers. Since May 29, Blair recorded only 1 loss in his last 16 starts on the year, going 8-1 with a 3.17 ERA (33 ER in 93.2 IP) and 98 strikeouts. The Las Vegas native was named South Bend's Player of the Month for April, the Organizational Player of the Month for June and garnered Southern League Pitcher of the Week honors for July 20-27. Blair entered the season rated by Baseball America as the D-backs' No. 5 Prospect. He was drafted by the D-backs in the Competitive Balance Round-A (36th overall) in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft from Marshall University.
"Aaron was in the top 5 of many key pitching categories in our Minor League system, including strikeouts," said Bell. "Aaron has moved across 4 levels in just over a year and he has been outstanding at each stop. He helped all three teams he played for this year reach the playoffs. He improved as the year went on and posted his most impressive numbers in Mobile, the most advanced level he has reached. Aaron is a great teammate and competitor and we are eager to watch his continued development."