Cardinals Prospect #3 - Chris Lambert

Lambert was the Cardinals first-round draft pick in 2004. Player Profile

Position: RHP

DOB: 3/8/1983

Height: 6-1

Weight: 205

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Boston College

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first round of the June, 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $1,525,000 signing bonus.

2005 G W-L IP Hits BB K ERA
Palm Beach (High-A) 10 7-1 54.2 53 15 46 2.63
Springfield (AA) 18 3-8 85 97 48 69 6.35
Surprise (AFL) 6 0-1 17.1 22 8 12 6.75
United States 1 1-0 5 1 0 9 0.00

Staff Comments

JS (3): "Lambert could have probably used a little more time at Palm Beach in 2005, as he struggled after his promotion to Springfield and again in the Arizona Fall League. He did, however, dominate Guatemala in a start for Team USA to finish off the 2005 season. A very good 2006 season could earn him a call-up to St. Louis in September, but I think it is more likely that we won't see him in the majors until 2007. He should start the 2006 season back at Springfield."

LM (4): "Lambert definitely deserves being ranked in the Top 5 in the Cardinals' system. He did quite well in Palm Beach to start the season with a 2.63 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 3.01 K/BB ratio in ten starts and fifty-four and two-thirds innings pitched. He did not come close to those stats in Double-A. His best stretch came in July when he compiled a 3.34 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in thirty-five innings and six starts. However, by his own admission he tired down the stretch and his performance nose-dived. That nosedive came at the same time Pomeranz was shining which was a factor in my placing Pomeranz above Lambert in my rankings. Lambert turns 23 in March which made him the second youngest pitcher on the Springfield roster behind Pomeranz. He showed he could compete at the Double-A level but needs to show far more consistency to advance. Both Baseball HQ and Baseball America ranked Lambert as the Cardinals' fourth-best prospect."

RM (3): "Lambert may be the best pitching prospect in the system. I know Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright get all the ink, but Lambert has four pitches, a two and four seam, 86-94 MPH fastball and a 76-80 MPH slider and 75-79 MPH change-up and he isn't afraid to throw any of them at any time. He's projected by some to be a potential #3 starter in the major leagues. He is another pitcher I think that the Cardinals promoted too fast to AA ball, last season. Baseball HQ has suggested that Lambert might need to move to the bullpen to improve his fastball velocity/movement. I always disagree with this approach in the development of a pitching prospect, especially if he has four pitches in his makeup. My take is, the more innings and more batters a prospect faces, the faster he is likely to develop. Lambert should start the season at AA as a starter and stay in the rotation. A promotion to AAA Memphis before the All Star Break seems highly unlikely to me. It is way too early, in my opinion, with Lambert's makeup and potential, to consider moving him to the bullpen. I've heard some projecting him to arrive at the majors in 2007, but that seems very optimistic to me. He could be the club's #5 starter in 2008, if he isn't moved to the bullpen before then."

BW (3): "Much has been said about his struggles at Double-A this season, but Lambert is still just two years off the college campus. Is he too small? Does he have the mental toughness? Will he be better suited as a reliever? Walk rate is a concern (over five per nine innings). Lambert pitched in the 2005 Futures Game during All-Star Weekend, but seemed tired by the end of the Arizona Fall League campaign. Yet, he came out blazing in his lone Team USA start in November, which was a great way to end the season."

STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking); JS = Jason Scott; LM = Leonda Markee; BW = Brian Walton; RM = Ray Mileur; NR = Not Rated

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