Lancaster, California —— On Wednesday night at The Hangar, Colorado Rockies right-handed pitching prospect Peter Lambert went seven full innings in Game One of the California League‘s South Division Championship Series for the Lancaster JetHawks against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. In the masterful start, Lambert allowed just one run (on a solo home run), scattering seven hits with no walks, and putting up six strikeouts over 87 pitches (59 strikes). One of the Rockies’ top prospects, Peter Lambert proved to be difficult to square up all night with a well-sequenced four-pitch mix that kept Rancho hitters off balance multiple times through the lineup. The JetHawks now lead the best-of-five series one game to none, and both teams return to action on Thursday night at The Hangar for Game Two.
Baseball Census was on scene to see Peter Lambert throw on Wednesday night, and we captured every single pitch he threw on video, which you can watch from our YouTube channel embedded here:
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Peter Lambert, RHP, Colorado Rockies — September 6 Game Notes
On Wednesday night, Peter Lambert sat 90-92 mph with his fastball consistently through to the end of his outing, topping out infrequently at 93 mph. The pitch has subtle but hard late life to his arm-side, giving him just enough of a wrinkle to pitch off it multiple times through the lineup with hitters adjusting to find the barrel with consistency. Lambert then coupled the fastball with three off-speed pitches: a slider (85-87 mph), a curveball (76-81 mph), and a changeup (83-85 mph), all of which were well-commanded last night with only the changeup lagging behind in consistency compared to the other two.
Lambert works extremely quickly, even from the stretch, and fills up the zone while challenging hitters and attacking from the start of an at-bat without letting up even when going to his off-speed. Speaking of that off-speed, he’s got a great feel for both the slider and the curve, and each are distinct enough from each other that he can use them back-to-back and in the same at-bat. To beat him, you have to make him throw his changeup, though; it was the most inconsistent and variable in command, and it is his main off-speed weapon against lefties since he doesn’t seem to want to throw too many pitches that break down and into their bat path. Even with some inconsistency in the command and execution of that changeup—Lambert left too many of them non-competitive and far off the plate—he followed up every single bad changeup with a good one on the next pitch, suggesting an advanced ability to make pitch-to-pitch adjustments that’s notable for his age and this level. The Colorado Rockies prospect did it with his curveball, too: at one point, a curve slipped out of his hand and sailed over Quakes outfielder Quincy Latimore‘s head; on the very next pitch, Lambert dropped a 79 mph hammer in for a called strike, showing an impressive ability to very quickly find his release point after failing to execute the first time on a pitch.
Still pitching mainly off his fastball the second and third time through the lineup, Lambert is efficient and generally lives down at the knees with that main offering in his arsenal. Lefties see more of the changeup, especially the second and third time up at the plate, but Lambert is undoubtedly a fastball-first pitcher and should remain that way considering his command and subtle (but late) pitch life. Consistently sitting in the low 90s with it, and especially when commanded down in the zone as it was last night, there’s more than enough to his fastball that’ll allow him to survive at higher levels, too. Peter Lambert had a phenomenal game on Wednesday night, and he did it in a vintage Lambert way; it’s hard to believe this kid is only 20 years old considering how advanced his sequencing and command have become, especially in an environment that so radically favors hitters. Without question, Peter Lambert remains one of the best pitching prospects the Colorado Rockies have, and Wednesday night only solidified that further.