The Lancaster JetHawks fell short in the California League Finals, but still put together quite a season, finishing 79-61 and capturing the fifth division title in team history.Not only were the Rockies pleased to see their Class A Advanced affiliate have a strong season, but the organization also got strong
The Lancaster JetHawks fell short in the California League Finals, but still put together quite a season, finishing 79-61 and capturing the fifth division title in team history.
Not only were the Rockies pleased to see their Class A Advanced affiliate have a strong season, but the organization also got strong performances from a couple of their top prospects -- Peter Lambert and Garrett Hampson, both of whom are participating in instructional league.
Lambert, the Rockies No. 5 prospect, posted a 4.17 ERA and struck out 131 batters in 142 1/3 innings across 26 starts in the hitter-friendly league.
"I think he had about three bad starts out of 30 and if you take those out of there he would have had a chance to win Cal League Pitcher of the Year," Rockies director of player development Zach Wilson said.
Lambert, 20, was selected in the second round of the 2015 Draft and has shown good command early in his career. With a fastball that sits in the low 90s and a curveball that could become a plus offering, the right-hander has a chance to be a quality starter in the rotation.
"The maturity, pitchability, the advanced nature of what he's able to do every day on a baseball diamond -- both on the mound and off as a teammate -- was expected and he even excelled in a lot of those areas," Wilson said. "I look for Peter to continue down this path and all in all it was another tremendous year, a big step forward for him."
While Lambert impressed with his arm, Hampson, the Rockies No. 8 prospect, had a big season with the bat.
Hampson, a third-round pick from the 2016 Draft, hit .326/.387/.462 in 127 games in his first full season.
"We skipped him over [Class A] Asheville, and we knew that wasn't going to be an issue for him and I think he proved accordingly," Wilson said.
Hampson doesn't have a ton of power, but he has worked on hitting the ball on the ground and utilizing his 60-grade speed to reach base. Hampson showcased that speed as he stole 51 bases this season.
"He's a tremendous athlete who has great instincts for the game and is a baseball rat and plays as hard as anybody," Wilson said of Hampson. "There was no doubt in my mind he was going to find success skipping over a level and he was able to prove us all correct."
William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.