Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 170
Acquired: 2016 Draft, 5th round, Fresno State University
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #26 – Midseason 2018
- #22 – Preseason 2019
- #20 – Midseason 2019
- In-person report with video, May 2017
- Interview, May 2017
- Prospect focus feature, with quotes, July 2018
- All Articles Tagged Jimmy Lambert
- 2017 Mid-Season All-Star (Kannapolis)
- Pitcher of the Week, 4/29/2018 (Winston-Salem)
- Pitcher of the Week, 7/15/2018 (Birmingham)
- Best Change-up in the Carolina League, post-season 2018 (Baseball America)
The White Sox drafted RHP Jimmy Lambert out of Fresno State University in the 5th round of the 2016 draft and signed him to an under-slot deal. After a largely unsuccessful 2016 pro debut (5.26 ERA), Lambert posted a 3.84 ERA in 2017 between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, but didn’t miss enough bats (9.8 H/9 and 6.1 K/9) to warrant much serious prospect consideration. That all changed during the 2018 season as Lambert bulked up in the off-season and completely overhauled his arsenal that saw immediate dividends. Lambert’s strikeout totals skyrocketed from 6.1 to 10.3 K/9, hits decreased from 9.8 to 7.2 H/9, all while maintaining his walk rate (2.4 to 2.5 BB/9). He was challenged by the White Sox with a June promotion to Birmingham and his numbers improved across the board, culminating in a dominant 10-strikeout performance on July 14th where he carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning. In those 5 starts at AA he posted a 2.88 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.8 K/9 before being shut down with some arm soreness that resulted in him shutting down a little early to protect that arm.
When Lambert started his professional career, he was a sinker-ball pitcher, working a 88-91 MPH two-seamer with fringe secondary stuff. In Spring Training of 2018, he received some analytic data from the White Sox that inspired him to replace his two-seam fastball with a four-seamer, and start throwing his curveball more often than his slider. These drastic changes, accompanied by an improved developing change-up, elevated Lambert from a middling prospect to a spot on FutureSox’s top 30. The shut-down late in 2018, we are told, was the result of some soreness that is not a long-term concern. But it is probably something to keep an eye on anyway, given he was still well short of his 2017 load.
Major League Outlook: 4th/5th starter or multi-inning reliever
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