Cardinals sign No. 1 pick Lambert

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals said Monday they have signed hard-throwing right-hander Chris Lambert, their top pick in last month's draft.

Lambert, the 19th pick of the June 7 draft, will report to Single-A Peoria, the Cardinals said in a statement that did not reveal terms of the deal.

As a Boston College junior this season, Lambert had 107 strikeouts in 92 1-3 innings in 15 starts, with a 97-mph fastball. He was 6-4 with a 3.02 ERA, second in the Big East. He gave up 51 walks and 42 runs, 31 of them earned.

Lambert, who shared the conference's pitcher-of-the-year award with Pittsburgh's Nick Evangelista, holds the school record for career strikeouts (274) and is tied for second on the college's all-time wins list with 23.

"We are anxious for Chris to report to Peoria and begin his professional career as a Cardinal," said assistant general manager John Mozeliak, who heads the club's scouting operations.

The 6-1, 205-pound Lambert was an offensive-minded defenseman on his high school hockey team in Manchester, N.H., and a shortstop on the baseball team. He became a pitcher after having some success in summer Legion ball, and that convinced him to choose baseball.

The Cardinals now have signed 38 of their latest 47 draft picks.

-- AP

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