Fresno State’s Jimmy Lambert, whose 8-0 run in Mountain West play was a big reason the Bulldogs won their first regular-season title since joining the conference, was selected in the fifth round by the Chicago White Sox on Day 2 of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.
“It’s obviously a lifelong dream, but I guess it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Lambert said in a phone call. “I just feel incredibly blessed to be selected by the Chicago White Sox and given a chance to play professional baseball.”
Lambert, a junior right-hander from San Dimas, was the 146th selection overall. The co-Mountain West Pitcher of the Year finished 10-2 overall this season with a 3.13 ERA, striking out 78 and walking 19 while pitching 97 2/3 innings across 15 games as the Bulldogs’ Saturday starter.
Among others chosen in rounds 3-10 on Friday were ex-Bullard High star Blake Quinn, a right-hander at Cal State Fullerton who went in the ninth round to Philadelphia; and Fresno State left-hander Dylan Lee, who went in the 10th to Miami.
With another year of college eligibility, Lambert will have some leverage when it comes to negotiations. The assigned value for the 146th pick is $382,800, though teams can exceed any slot’s number if they spend less elsewhere among their picks.
Lambert, however, said he is leaning toward signing with the White Sox.
“Yes,” Lambert said. “Nothing is 100 percent as of now, but that’s what it’s looking like. That’s the direction I’m headed.
“Thank you to everyone that has been a part of this and the journey so far. I’m definitely a proud Bulldog and always will be a Bulldog.”
I’m just really happy with how this is all shaping out.
Fresno State junior right-hander Jimmy Lambert, after being selected 146th overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2016 amateur draft
Air Force junior right-hander Griffin Jax, who shared the MW Pitcher of the Year honor with Lambert, was a third-round pick (No. 93) by the Minnesota Twins.
Quinn, a junior who also played two years at Fresno State, was the first pick of the ninth round, No. 257 overall, by the Phillies. He went 4-3 with one save and a 2.16 ERA in 17 appearances, 12 of them starts, this past season for a Titans team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Starkville Regional. He struck out 69, walked 32 and allowed 40 hits in 66 2/3 innings.
Lee, who just finished his senior year at Fresno State, was taken with the 293rd pick by the Miami Marlins. He went 2-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 27 appearances out of the bullpen during his final season with the Bulldogs and previously played for Dinuba High and College of the Sequoias.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the draft were Thursday, with the Phillies drafting Mickey Moniak, a high school outfielder from Cal, with the first overall pick.
Rounds 3 through 10 were Friday, with rounds 11-40 on Saturday.
MLB.com offers a draft tracker to follow along as each pick is made.