In baseball and in all sports, speed kills. For Arizona State, that assassin has a name, and it’s center fielder Joe Lampe.
In his first season as a Sun Devil, the junior college transfer patrolled center field for the entire 2021 campaign, showcasing his electrifying speed in the outfield, as well as on the base paths. The Northern California native was no slouch at the plate either, batting a respectable .253 while collecting three homers, seven doubles and two triples.
Lampe often batted in the nine hole to provide a “double leadoff” spark, but he is likely to assume the full time leadoff duties in 2022. Throughout last fall and during the 2021 season, coaches and players alike raved about Lampe’s next level speed. His stolen base numbers, however, were pedestrian, successfully swiping just six bags on 11 attempts. Although this may be due to the fact that opposing catchers are on high alert when Lampe is on base, i expect him to improve both his percentage and his total numbers in the stolen base category next season.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium is a big yard compared to many others in the conference, but Lampe routinely made it look small this past year. Look for him to make more Superman plays in 2022, and make a name for himself as one of the best defensive center fielders in college baseball.
Another area where Lampe could see some improvement is his power. He left the yard just twice in 2021, although he saw an excruciating amount of deep fly balls become warning track outs. As long as he’s not sacrificing any speed, Lampe could see vastly improved power numbers if he were to spend the offseason adding strength and catering his swing to become a more power friendly stroke.