A talented two-way player as a high schooler, Lee garnered Virginia’s Gatorade Player of the Year award as a senior after hitting .471 with six homers and going 7-0 with a 0.33 ERA on the mound. While there were some teams who preferred him as a left-handed pitcher, Lee's athleticism and offensive upside appealed to the Royals, who drafted him in the third round of the 2016 Draft and went over pick value to sign him. Lee has moved faster in the pro ranks than the typical prep pick and made his Double-A debut right after he turned 20 in '18. A Texas League Midseason All-Star in his return to the level in '19, Lee paced the circuit in stolen bases and walks, but he also finished second in strikeouts.
Lee has the tools to be an impact player on both sides of the ball and could hit for both average and power if he can make the necessary improvements in his approach. His elevated strikeout rate (28.2 percent) in 2019 and overall swing-and-miss tendencies are exacerbated by a passive approach that results in too many deep counts and raises questions about the future utility of his bat. While that approach nets Lee plenty of walks and fuels his on-base skills, he needs to become more aggressive early in counts. His left-handed swing can get too long at times and results in too much groundball contact, though scouts like his bat speed and the hard contact it yields.
Lee’s on-base skills and above-average speed make him a threat to run whenever he reaches, and he finished third in the Minors with 53 steals in 2019. He can handle playing center field, but he likely fits better as a right fielder, profiling as an above-average defender with a plus arm. Lee could develop into an everyday player if he can clean up his approach and tap into more of his raw power, but he does enough things well in all facets of the game to offer floor value as a fourth outfielder.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
A talented two-way player as a high schooler in Virginia -- one many teams preferred as a left-handed pitcher -- Lee's athleticism and offensive upside appealed to the Royals, who drafted him in the third round of the 2016 Draft and went over pick value to sign him. He's moved rapidly thus far, making his Double-A debut right after he turned 20 in 2018.
Lee has the tools to be an impact player on both sides of the ball and with some adjustments to his offensive approach, he could be a better than average hitter with outstanding power. While he cut down his strikeout rate considerably in 2018 and has excellent plate discipline, Lee's willingness to see pitches can work against him. He'll often take too many hittable pitches early in counts and then hasn't altered his two-strike approach at all. If he can learn to be a bit more aggressive early in counts, then pitchers will start trying to expand the zone early, where his advanced eye will come in handy. All of that should put him in better counts to use his bat speed and loft to get to his power more frequently without his K rate skyrocketing.
Defensively, Lee can handle playing center field and will continue to get plenty of time there in the Minors. But he likely profiles better as a right fielder, where his cannon for an arm plays well and he has the chance to be a plus defender overall. The Royals are hoping his time in Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League will help him continue up the ladder quickly after he lost time due to a back injury.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
Though he had a low-90s fastball and a promising slider, intriguing several clubs as a left-handed pitching prospect, the Royals liked his multitool ability more. They made him a full-time outfielder after signing him for an over-slot $750,000 as a third-rounder in 2016, and they have no reason to regret that decision. He led the Rookie-level Arizona League in runs (43), triples (six) and total bases (88) during his pro debut, then ranked second in homers (17) and third in walks (65) in the low Class A South Atlantic League at age 19 last year.
If he can make some adjustments at the plate, Lee could have solid or better tools across the board. Though he's not physically imposing at 5-foot-10, the bat speed and loft in his left-handed swing give him surprising raw power. He has some feel to hit and a willingness to work counts, though he needs to tone down his aggressiveness after fanning a SAL-high 171 times last year.
With his solid speed, Lee could be a 20-20 player if he refines his basestealing technique after getting caught in 18 of his 38 attempts in 2017. He split last season between center and right field, showing the range to stick at the former position and Gold Glove upside at the latter. His strong arm allowed him to register 14 assists in 119 games.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Lee drew interest from clubs as both an outfielder and a left-handed pitcher in the 2016 Draft. Though he had a low-90s fastball and a promising slider, the Royals liked his bat and made him a full-time position player after signing him for an above-slot $750,000 as a third-round pick. Gatorade's 2016 Virginia high school player of the year, he topped the Rookie-level Arizona League in runs (43), triples (six) and total bases (88) while ranking second in on-base percentage (.396) and fifth in slugging (.484).
Kansas City considered Lee the best athlete available with the 103rd overall choice, and he has average or better tools across the board. Though he's not physically imposing, he has some juice in his quick left-handed stroke. He has good feel to hit and a mature approach, plus he already has shown the ability to make adjustments at the plate.
An average runner out of the batter's box, Lee shows more speed once he gets going. He played all three outfield spots in his pro debut, getting most of his time in center field, though he may be better suited for a corner in the long run. His obvious arm strength would play well in right field.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
One of the best two-way prospects in the 2016 Draft, Lee intrigued several clubs as a left-handed pitcher with a fastball that tops out at 94 mph and a solid slider. Kansas City preferred Gatorade's Virginia player of the year as an outfielder and made him a full-time position player after signing him for $750,000 as a third-round pick.
The Royals believed Lee was the best athlete available when they drafted him with the 103rd overall choice, and he has the potential for average or better tools across the board. He has surprising pop for someone 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, the product of quality bat speed from the left side of the plate. He has a line-drive stroke and a patient approach that should help him hit for average.
Lee is an average runner out of the batter's box and a little quicker on the bases. He played primarily center field while also manning both corners in his pro debut, and he figures to end up in right field. He could be a solid defender there and definitely has the arm strength required for the position.