DENVER—Peter Lambert had an eye-opening first full season last year at low Class A Asheville.
The 19-year-old righthander allowed two or fewer earned runs in 18 of 26 starts while going 5-8, 3.96. He yielded 16 earned runs in seven innings in two appearances. Minus those outings, Lambert, a 2015 second-round pick out of San Dimas (Calif.) High, recorded a 2.95 ERA.
“He’s just got a great feel to pitch, and he moves the ball in and out,” farm director Zach Wilson said. “He’s advanced with his fastball and his thought process as far as how to use it and where to put it. The most intriguing thing is that he’s already able to think and pitch that way and feel his way through a game at 19.”
Lambert, who turns 20 on April 18, has averaged 2.4 walks and 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings and allowed seven homers in 126 innings.
His fastball ranges from 90-95 mph and sits 92. Wilson believes Lambert, whose lower half is strong, will gain upper body and arm strength and his fastball will eventually settle in the 93-95 mph range.
“I think it’s going to be a plus fastball with plus command at the end of the day,” Wilson said. “There’s only been a handful of 19-year-olds I’ve seen (who have) been able to command the fastball at that age the way he can.”
Lambert’s curveball can get slurvy, but he throws the pitch for strikes and with good depth when he stays on top of it and releases it properly. His changeup is his best secondary pitch.
“His changeup right now with his delivery and his arm action is extremely deceptive and has some sink to it,” Wilson said.
“I think his changeup has a chance to be plus. I think his breaking pitch has a chance to be average. And then with plus command that equals a pretty good pitcher.”
• The Rockies acquired righthander James Farris from the Cubs for Eddie Butler, the 2012 supplemental first-rounder who had been designated for assignment. Farris went 2-5, 2.59 with 13 saves in 43 games at high Class A and Double-A.
• Hitting coach Mike Devereaux moves from Asheville to short-season Boise, where Robinson Cancel also was hired as a coach and Scott Little, Boise’s hitting coach last year, will manage.