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2022 Draft Preview: Brooks Lee - SS

The best college bat in the draft may be available for the Diamondbacks at #2.

Age: 21 (14 February 2001)
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 205 lbs.
B/T: S/R
School: Cal Poly - Previously drafted in the 35th round (1046) by SF

Scouting Grades

Position: Shortstop

Hit: 70 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

The Skinny

Brooks Lee is easily the best all-around college bat in the draft this year and is likely second only to Termarr Johnson in terms of overall bats in the draft. Like Johnson, Brooks Lee possesses elite bat-to-ball skill. Unlike Johnson, Lee does so from both sides of the plate. Lee also shows pop from both sides, not selling out for power or contact from just one side. Under the tutelage of his father at Cal Poly, the 21-year-old stood out in ways most draftees only dream about. Dating back to his 2021 season, Lee was selected for five All-American teams, as well as playing as a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

During the 2022 season, Lee slashed .368/.476/.637 with 67 hits, 20 doubles, nine home runs, 40 runs batted in, 40 walks, and a 1.113 OPS while playing in all 46 games for the Mustangs. In his two seasons at Cal Poly, Lee posted a 58:57 walk to strikeout ratio.

Defensively, Lee is a capable shortstop, but not a spectacular one. Given the elite level defense that tends to rise to the top in the Majors, Lee projects as merely an average defensive shortstop at the top level. However, Lee possesses plenty of arm strength to play third. It is the expectation of most that Lee will eventually slide over from short to third at some point, perhaps as soon as draft night.

On the bases, Lee is not a big threat to steal, but takes enough free bases to keep the pitcher honest. He is also quite gifted at taking extra bases, even on plays where the defense is playing heads-up.

As one might expect of the son of a successful collegiate coach (and former player), Lee has a very high baseball IQ. It shows up regularly on the field, as Lee’s baseball instincts and knowledge of where to be and when are ungraded tools which he has in abundance. It has been commented more than once that he plays like he is coaching on the field. While that is hard to specifically quantify, it is still something that stands out. For those who were around here to watch him play, this is the sort of approach Craig Counsell brought to his game on the field, though Lee is not quite that level of defensive talent

Summation: While there is rarely such a thing as a “sure pick” in the MLB draft, Lee is at least a safe pick. Of all the talents ranked in the top-10, Lee is the most likely to make it to the Majors. What’s more, is Lee is likely to arrive relatively quickly, all things considered. In many ways, Lee profiles as a combination of the already covered Jackson Holliday and Termarr Johnson. The biggest advantage both of those prospects have on Lee is their age. As Lee is coming out of the college ranks, he could be in his age 25 season before he firmly arrives at the MLB level, as opposed to the likes of Johnson a-or Holliday who could be 21 or 22. Otherwise, Lee compares favourably to Holliday across the board while being an even better hitter, who also happens to hit from both sides of the plate. Unlike Jones, or potentially Green, Lee is unlikely to come anywhere close to demanding full-freight at 1-2 when it comes to signing bonus. Taking Lee would provide the Diamondbacks with a 1-1 level talent while also saving them money if they have a premium talent in mind for a later pick.

If Baltimore takes Dru Jones with the first pick in the draft, I expect Lee to be strongly considered for the second pick

Comp: Lee is difficult to comp precisely. However, a solid comp would be to liken Lee to a switch-hitting version of Chicago’s Tim Anderson.