Draft Prospect on the Rise: Peter Lambert

Draft Prospect on the Rise: Peter Lambert
Photo credit: Insidesocal.com

Peter Lambert came to my attention after Steve Fiorindo uploaded a video of Jacob Nix throwing a bullpen session at the end of December. Honestly, I wasn’t too interested in Nix, but instead Solomon Bates, who Steve said would also be throwing in the bullpen that day. I will have more on Bates at another date, but I’ve been following him since he was a sophomore in high school.

After watching both Bates’ pen and Nix’s pen I watched a few more videos of pitchers that threw that day, the two most notable were Cody Ponce out of Cal Poly – Pomona and Josh Staumont out of Azusa Pacific University. However, there was one pitcher that stood out and that was Peter Lambert. Lambert is a 6’2″ 185 pound right-handed pitcher out of San Dimas High School in California. He is committed to play baseball for UCLA in 2016.

Over the summer Lambert spent time pitching for the 18u USA National team, in which he threw a complete game shutout against Argentina.

Here is his most recent video:

The first thing you’ll notice about Lambert is that he has a very solid build. He’s not super tall, but he’s not short either He’s not lanky nor carrying any extra weight. Lambert is pretty athletic and fields his position well.

Lambert also has very nice arm speed to go along with his fluid and smooth delivery. He remains balanced, maintains momentum, and has decent posture as he delivers the ball.

Right now, Lambert features a four pitch mix. A fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup.

His fastball sits in the low 90’s (90-92, T: 93) and shows nice arm side run. He is capable of busting it in on right-handed hitters or bringing it back over the outside of the plate. To left-handed hitters he starts it in the middle to the outside edge and gets it to tail off the plate. The only worry here is if it doesn’t work its way off the plate, it could end up right in the sweet spot of the barrel.

His curveball sits in the low to mid 70’s (73-75) and shows sharp break that freezes hitters. He can bury it in the dirt or throw it for a strike. It is a true out pitch, but needs more work in the consistency department.

His slider is the newest addition to his arsenal, and sits right around 80 mph. According to Lambert, it is a new pitch, but he has been working on it for some time. Like his curve, it shows hard, late break, which is what you want to see. The slider looks like the making of a second possible out pitch with further refinement.

As for his changeup, it is usable, but like most prep pitchers it needs some work in the consistency department. It sits 82-84, and  at times it can be a bit straight, and at other times it shows decent fade.

*Velocities are from MLB Scouting Bureau Invitational at the urban youth academy, and from Perfect Game.

Mechanics video:

Another look:

From the stretch:

One thing that I really like about Lambert is that he uses his legs very well and he maintains momentum going towards home plate. Another thing to note is that his arm does come through a bit late, and he also lands with his heel first sometimes (not majorly though). Ideally, you want a pitcher to land on the ball of their lead foot. This is something that can be adjusted though.

Below is an older look at Lambert. You can see that he has made mechanical adjustments since then. In this video, his front lead leg is stiffer. If you look at his foot, it is flat with his toe almost pointing back up towards the sky. In his more recent videos, you will notice that his front foot now points towards the ground throughout his delivery and is more relaxed. A simple change like this can greatly effect a pitchers control. A better landing will go a long way towards controlling and commanding your pitches. It looks as if this change has helped him to some extent.

Going back to the older video, when he brought up his leg, he would keep his lead elbow on the inside of his leg, so his elbow would be touching the inside of his knee. By doing this he wasn’t able to bring his leg up as high. This has been changed in his delivery. Now, he brings his front leg up even higher while his elbow sits on the outside of his leg. In addition to changing his elbow position, his glove trajectory follows his lead leg movement. As his leg comes up, so does his glove. This helps him synchronize his delivery better, compared to before where his glove would not move.

Here are some newer videos of Lambert pitching:

Overall, Peter Lambert is what you want to see in a young pitcher. He has shown improvement in every area of his game in a short amount of time, and that’s why he’s one of my favorite prep pitchers as we move further into 2015 and closer to the MLB draft. Yes, there is a need for further refinement, but all pitchers are like that. Right now, he doesn’t show up on many draft lists, but with a good spring he will definitely climb the ladder.

As more info becomes available I will be sure to pass it along.

All video credit goes to Steve Fiorindo

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