Welcome to the 2019 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2019. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 24, Peter Lambert (0.1 rWAR)
Peter Lambert has been one of the Rockies’ top pitching prospects since he was drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft. The 22-year-old started 2019 in Albuquerque but made his major league debut at the beginning of June after the losses of Tyler Anderson and Kyle Freeland before the end of May. Lambert pitched just 60 2⁄3 innings in Triple-A before joining the big league club.
Lambert’s first two starts came against the Chicago Cubs — his first being at Wrigley Field and the other coming a week later at Coors. He pitched well, posting a 1.50 ERA in his first 12 innings. In his first ever start, he pitched seven innings of four hit, one run ball and struck out nine Cubbies. Not too bad. Lambert’s first major league adversity came during that infamous Padres series in June. He started the finale, but only lasted three innings after giving up eight runs on nine hits, including a two-run homer.
As the year progressed, Lambert held his own. He wasn’t stellar, but he was serviceable. His best month came in July with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, but after that he started surrendering more walks — including 18 in six games in August and nine in four games in September. In June and July, Lambert struck out 17.2% of batters and walked 4.4%; in August and September, he struck out 10.2% of batters and walked 12.5%. He was officially shut down on September 24, finishing with a 3-7 record in 89 ⅓ innings over 19 starts. He also finished with a 7.25 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP, striking out 13.6% of batters and walking 8.6% in 2019. Hopefully Lambert takes the lessons he learned in 2019, regains some confidence, and makes a leap in 2020.