"It was definitely a fun season," Lambert said. "Because winning is the ultimate goal, it was a lot of fun."
The Rockies selected four high school players on the first night of the Draft -- Lake Mary (Fla.) shortstop Brendan Rodgers third overall; Stroudsburg (Pa.) righty Mike Nikorak 27th overall, as compensation for losing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to the Mets via free agency; Poway (Calif.) third baseman Tyler Nevin and Lambert. Nevin and Lambert are UCLA recruits who roomed together during an official campus visit.
Nevin was ranked 49th and Lambert 50th on the MLB.com Draft Prospect list. Lambert, listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, brings a four-pitch mix. He had reached 93-94 mph but is consistently at 92 with his fastball. He said he has been throwing his curve "since I started pitching." Last year, he developed a slider, and a recently added changeup "is becoming a good pitch for me."
Nikorak, who throws a knuckle-curve and a two-seam change as offspeed pitches, and Lambert give the Rockies two draftees who understand it takes more than velocity to effectively control pro hitters.
"There's a lot of projection on the two pitchers that we took, and they've both shown the ability to spin a breaking ball," said Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich, who personally scouted a large number of Draft prospects. "You've got a pitch mix already. I don't know if you want to call that advanced, [but] there are some things that they've learned at a young age that are working in their favor.
"We're certainly excited about the entire package that both of those pitchers present. It's not like there are glaring holes in each guy."
Lambert declined to discuss bonus negotiations with the Rockies, saying he was just going to enjoy the evening with his family. Under the MLB Draft slotting system, the 44th overall choice is slotted at $1,395,200.