Prospect Spotlight: 6-foot-3, 215-pound CIF, Cooper Lamb, 2015


By Alexis Brudnicki

PBR Ontario Lead Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. – Cooper Lamb has been given an opportunity and he wants to make the most of it.

Cooper Lamb hittingJoining the Canadian Junior National Team for the first time during the squad’s fall trip to face instructional league competition in Orlando, the 16-year-old third baseman is up against some tough opponents. He’s faced high-calibre competitors before during trips with the Ontario Blue Jays, but being with Team Canada is something new.

“I’m so happy to be here,” Lamb said. “I’ve been trying to make this team for so long. It’s a dream come true…It was amazing putting on the jersey for the first time. I was telling the guys I traveled here with that I just couldn’t wait to put on something red…This is probably up there as one of the most important weeks of my life. I really want to show what I can do here.”

Over the last few years at home, the native of Burlington has improved his game on a huge scale, by his own admission, and he is looking to do much of the same over the course of the next several months.

“My first 16-and-under year was probably where I [grew] the most,” Lamb said. “I went from pretty bad to pretty good I guess, and this is my third year now with the Ontario Blue Jays…I completely turned my game around, got better coaching, and just worked with it and stuck with it all season. I wasn’t too good at the beginning of that season and I got better throughout the year.”

The addition of Lamb to the national team followed a performance at Tournament 12 that many thought wouldn’t happen after the infielder went down at the very beginning of the first day of the event.

Cooper Lamb fieldingSustaining a hamstring pull while running his 60-yard dash during his workout for the scouts and recruiters in attendance, he turned right around and got into the cage for batting practice and played the rest of the tournament with his Ontario Black squad.

“He battled through the week with the leg injury he sustained on scout day,” said Chris Kemlo, Prep Baseball Report Ontario’s scouting director. “He showed passion and a bulldog attitude toward the game.

“The ball carries off his bat and he has good leverage in his swing, and with his strength, the power is easy to see. He has more than enough arm for third and the ball showed good carry across the field and was on target. His hands worked and he made routine plays.”

Lamb knows both where his strengths lie and where he needs to continue to focus, and during his time in Orlando he is taking advantage of the time he has with head coach Greg Hamilton and infielding coach Shawn Bowman, former Team Canada third baseman.

“I’d like to say my hitting is my [biggest asset],” Lamb said. “Maybe my arm at third base too…but [I need to] work on being a little bit quicker at third base and getting rid of the ball a little quicker, and just work on my hands a little bit more. It’s been great working with Greg and Bowman. Bowman seems like a great coach and I know Greg is.”

Matching up against professional pitchers during instructional league games, Lamb has tried to set his expectations realistically for the duration of the trip and keep working toward his goals.

“I know it’s going to be tough but I’ve just got to keep battling through,” Lamb said. “I’ve got to keep trying to get better every day…and I’d like to think I’m good [at getting through failure]. In my first year with the OBJ I didn’t do too well and I had to overcome a lot that year so I’d like to say I’m pretty good at it.”

After just his first day with Team Canada, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound corner infielder already had the experience ranked up among the best he’s ever had in baseball, right next to winning the World Series with the Ontario Blue Jays in his first year with the program.

Lamb hopes to continue with the team, and is also excited about meeting his fellow Jays on the road to finish out their fall trip when he departs Florida.

“I’m hoping to stay on Team Canada and I’m looking forward to the rest of this season,” he said. “I always look forward to getting on the road in the summer. It’s my favourite time of year.”

Uncommitted to any post-secondary institution, Lamb is hoping to solidify a spot at a junior college over the next while and is looking forward to what else might await him over the next few months. He’s grateful for each opportunity he’s been given and is excited for what the future holds.

“Everyone around me and everyone who supports me have helped me to get to this point,” Lamb said. “My coaches, my family – they’ve all helped me to get to where I am…The same stuff that’s gotten me here will help me the rest of the way. I’ve just got to stick with what I’ve got going for me.”