Peter Lambert Has All The Ingredients
The Rockies promoted 21-year-old righthander Peter Lambert to Triple-A Albuquerque after he went 5-0, 1.16 in five June starts for Double-A Hartford. He left the Eastern League as its leader in ERA (2.23), innings (92.2) and WHIP (0.99).
Lambert pitched at least seven innings in each June start, threw his first complete game as a professional and would have followed it up with a second one had he not been lifted after throwing 110 pitches in 8.2 innings.
A 2015 second-round pick out of San Dimas (Calif.) High, Lambert sits at 93 mph with his fastball and tops out at 96. He always had a good changeup but has developed a curveball with depth and a sharp, late break that has become an out pitch. Lambert has plus control of high-quality stuff and a superb feel for pitching
"He’s just got all the pieces that set him up to pitch in the front end of the rotation and have a lot of success,” farm director Zach Wilson said. "And the fact he can do it at that age tells you how truly impressive it is.”
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD
Wilson said that 24-year-old righthander Rico Garcia went from someone who might provide organizational depth "to a real prospect. And you can’t ask for much more than that at this point.”
The Rockies selected Garcia in the 30th round in 2016 out of Hawaii Pacific. This season at high Class A Lancaster he went 7-7, 3.42 with 22 walks and 101 strikeouts in a California League-leading 100 innings. He advanced to Hartford in conjunction with Lambert moving to Triple-A.
Garcia’s fastball sits 92-93 mph, which is up slightly from last year when if he touched 95 mph, it was usually once a game. This year, he repeatedly has hit 95 and even reached 97.
"Obviously the increase in velocity has added to his success,” Wilson said. "But I think even more so, he’s able to pitch with some angle. He’s a 6-footer who has angle. He’s extremely aggressive, and he’s got a good curveball and a very, very usable change. He mixes (his pitches well). He doesn’t walk anybody.”
Pacific Coast League Top 20 Prospects For 2019
Considering the state of offense in the PCL, it's no surprise 15 of the 20 best prospects are bats.
** First baseman Roberto Ramos hit five homers in his first seven games for Hartford, following a promotion from Lancaster where he hit .304/.411/.640 with 17 homers and 43 RBIs in 60 games.
** Hartford lefthander Evan Grills went 2-1, 2.45 in his first five starts after missing the 2017 season following Tommy John surgery.