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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 20: Jimmy Lambert

Despite an injury scare that quickly ended his MLB debut season of 2020, this righty has spot on the South Side staff reserved in the near future

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jimmy Lambert

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
190 pounds
Age: 26
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 7
2021 SSS Top Prospect Vote: 18
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 15
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 19

Jimmy Lambert spent the majority of his three years for the Fresno State Bulldogs in the team’s starting rotation, and his junior season was easily his best with a 3.13 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 97 23 innings, as he relinquished 98 hits and just 19 walks while striking out 78.

Those results were good enough for the White Sox to select him in the 2016 draft. After the draft, he pitched well for the AZL White Sox but unsurprisingly struggled with Kannapolis to end the season.

Jimmy mastered Kannapolis in 12 starts spanning 74 innings to begin the 2017 campaign with a 2.19 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, as he surrendered 77 hits (.274 OBA) and 11 walks (3.7%) while striking out 43 (14.3%). Just like the previous year, Lambert struggled with his midseason promotion (to Winston-Salem), as he posted a 5.45 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 76 innings as he ceded 86 hits (.290 OBA) and 29 walks (8.7%) while fanning 59 (17.7%).

Lambert returned to the Dash in 2018 and fared much better in 13 starts, totaling 70 23 innings as he compiled a 3.95 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, allowing just 57 hits (.217 OBA) and 21 walks (7.3%) while striking out 80 (29.0). Lambert earned a promotion to Birmingham, and excelled with this promotion to the tune of a 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 25 innings as he relinquished just 20 hits (.217 OBA) and six walks (5.9%) while striking out 30 (29.7%).

Lambert started 2019 with Birmingham well, as he turned six quality starts in his first eight outings. However, his final three outings (May 23 to June 3) were vastly subpar — ultimately dropping his numbers to a 4.55 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 11 starts spanning 59 13 innings, allowing 62 hits (.272 OBA) and 27 walks (10.4%) while striking out 70 (27.0%). It turned out Lambert needed Tommy John surgery, which was done in late June.

In 2020, Lambert returned from TJS rehab in spectacular fashion, impressing the White Sox so much during Summer Camp that he made his major league debut on July 25. Unfortunately, just one game after that, Lambert felt some right forearm discomfort and ended up shelved for the season.

The righty was invited to big league camp in 2021 and threw a scoreless inning with two Ks in his one start before being reassigned to the minors. Lambert will start 2021 at the Schaumburg alternate site but stands a chance of moving back to Chicago, rather than Charlotte, by the time the Triple-A season begins in May.