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Rockies prospect rankings: No. 21 Peter Lambert among recent high school draftees

Lambert is one among a handful of high schoolers that represent a change in draft strategy for the Rockies.

PuRP No. 21: Peter Lambert (304 points, 30 ballots) | Winter 2014 Ranking: NR | High Ballot 10, Mode Ballot 17

When the Rockies took Lambert, an 18 year-old righty out of San Dimas High School (San Dimas high school football rules!), with the 44th overall pick in this year's draft. He was the fourth consecutive high schooler they'd taken to start the draft class (it would soon be five with high school righty Javier Medina in the third round). This pick strategy was seen as an investment in high upside (and far away) talent, and it represented a little bit of a different tack than had been taken previously by Bill Schmidt and the Rockies.

As for the prospect himself, Lambert's profile is summed up pretty well by Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs before the draft (he ranked Lambert 59th):

Lambert isn't the sexiest prep arm, as he doesn't throw particularly hard or have lots of physical projection, but he has a bit of both and, more importantly, advanced feel for a three pitch mix to go with a clean arm action.

McDaniel rates Lambert's the three pitches (FB, CH, CB) and command as having a present value of 45-50 with a future value of 50-55 on the 20-80 scouting scale. It should be noted that McDaniel was on the low end of draft evaluators for Lambert. Others rated him around the 48th best prospect in the draft.

Here's Lambert in action:

For more on that arm action and for more videos, check out Cameron Kmen's article on Lambert for ChicagoNow.

In terms of his professional career, Lambert signed for $1.495 million, about $100k over slot, and was assigned to Rookie ball in Grand Junction. In two games pitched with the GJ Rockies (both on an innings/pitch limit), Lambert has thrown seven innings of one run ball on five hits, with four punchouts and two walks. I ranked Lambert 17th on my personal list due mostly to the draft pedigree and the scouting reports. I look forward to seeing Lambert with his training wheels off, maybe next year in Low A Asheville.

Contract Status: 2015 second round; not Rule 5 eligible (2019); three options remaining

MLB ETA: Late 2019