Undrafted out of high school, Lambert blossomed into a 2016 fifth-round choice after three years at Fresno State. The older brother of Rockies right-hander Peter Lambert, he quickly developed into one of the White Sox best pitching prospects. But like many of the system's top arms, he succumbed to Tommy John surgery, and will miss all or most of 2020 after having his elbow reconstructed last June.
Lambert generates some of the best spin rates in the system, giving him a pair of solid pitches in his fastball and curveball. His four-seam heater sits in the low 90s and peaks at 96 mph with riding action that keeps it off barrels up in the zone, and his 12-to-6 curveball drops through the bottom of the zone. He also has a pair of average offerings in his fading changeup and lateral-breaking slider.
Lambert's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery consistently and throw strikes. He lacks a true plus pitch and doesn't have much margin for error, but he also doesn't make many mistakes and keeps hitters off balance by sequencing his pitches well. Assuming a return to full health, he has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
While the Rockies selected Peter Lambert in the second round out of high school in 2015, his older brother Jimmy went undrafted as a prepster two years earlier. He blossomed into a fifth-round choice out of Fresno State in 2016, when he shared Mountain West Conference pitcher of the year honors. He ascended to Double-A two years after turning pro and pitched well in five starts there before getting shut down with an oblique injury last July, then made 11 starts at that level in 2019 before requiring Tommy John surgery.
Lambert succeeds by mixing four pitches that all grade from average to solid. He has added some spin and riding action to his fastball, which sits at 91-94 mph and tops out at 96. His 12-to-6 curveball is his most reliable secondary pitch, while his fading changeup helps him against left-handers and he can land his lateral-breaking slider for strikes.
Lambert's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery and throw consistent strikes. He doesn't have much margin for error and helps his cause by being stingy with walks and home runs. With some of the best metrics and polish in the White Sox system, he has a ceiling of a No. 4 starter.
Unlike his younger brother Peter, a top pitching prospect in the Rockies system, Lambert went undrafted out of high school. The Mountain West Conference co-pitcher of the year as a junior in 2016, he signed with the White Sox as a fifth-rounder that June. After struggling when he first got to high Class A midway through his first full pro season, he has fared much better in his return to that level in 2018.
Lambert doesn't have a plus pitch but keeps batters off balance by mixing four offerings. His two best pitches are a low-90s fastball that can reach 96 mph and a solid curveball. His changeup helps him hold his own against left-handers and he also throws a decent slider.
While Lambert doesn't have much margin for error, he avoids beating himself by limiting walks and home runs. He doesn't have a high ceiling but offers a decent floor as a potential back-of-the-rotation starter.