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Twins Select Brooks Lee #8 Overall


The newest member of the Minnesota Twins is Brooks Lee, who the team just selected 8th overall in the 2022 MLB Draft.  Brooks Lee is a shortstop from Cal Poly.

Long-term, Lee's bat will play anywhere, profiling more as a pure hitter than a masher. He's grown to 6' 2 and over 200 pounds, so it's less likely he will stick at shortstop and eventually move to third base, where he easily has enough arm to survive. He doesn't fit the typical power profile as a third baseman, but could be a very good second baseman as well.

Regardless, he checks so many of the boxes the Twins are looking for. Great bat-to-ball skills, could unlock more power and has defensive versatility. 

The draft slot associated with the 8th pick is $5,439,500.

You can read Jamie Cameron's profile on Brooks Lee here

Baseball America's scouting report, ranked second overall:

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The son of Cal Poly coach and renowned hitting guru Larry Lee, Brooks has long been an elite hitter and would have been a top-50 pick out of high school if not for his strong commitment to play for his father in college. A hamstring injury and the coronavirus pandemic limited him to two at-bats as a freshman, but he lived up to his reputation as a premium hitter once play resumed. Lee hit .342 to win Big West Conference co-player of the year as a redshirt freshman and torched the Cape Cod League with a .405/.432/.677 slash line for Yarmouth-Dennis in the summer. He followed with a standout showing for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team and hit .357 with 15 home runs and a 1.125 OPS this spring, all career highs. Lee is a gifted switch-hitter with exceptional hitting ability. He takes short, balanced swings with elite bat speed from the left side and laces balls hard to all fields. His righthanded swing isn’t as fluid or powerful, but he has the hand-eye coordination to make consistent contact and spray balls around the field. He has elite strike-zone discipline, crushes fastballs and drives pitches in all parts of the zone, projecting as a potential plus-plus hitter. He has rarely faced good breaking stuff and will need to prove he can handle that. Lee has bulked up as he’s matured and is now a physical specimen with strong legs, broad shoulders and a chiseled torso. His strength and knack for barreling balls give him at least average power potential and likely more. Lee is an instinctive defender who positions himself well at shortstop and converts the routine plays with his reliable hands and above-average, accurate arm, but his bulk and below-average speed limit his range. He projects to move to second or third base, where he should be an average defender. Lee’s only major concern is his health. He missed time with multiple back injuries in high school and had hamstring surgery as a true freshman. His physical, maxed-out frame raises concerns about how his body will age. Even so, Lee’s premium hitting ability makes him a likely top-five pick in the draft. As long as he stays healthy, he projects to be a switch-hitting infielder who hits for average and power in the top half of a lineup.

MLB.com's scouting report, where he ranked 5th overall:

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Talk to any scout about the switch-hitting infielder and the first thing that comes up are his otherworldly bat-to-ball skills. He almost never strikes out and has made consistent hard contact everywhere he’s been, including his 21-game stretch with a wood bat on the Cape, where he hit .405/.432/.667 with six homers in just 84 at-bats. He can drive the ball from both sides of the plate and as he’s gotten more physical, it’s easy to project him having better-than-average power in the future.

That physicality will mean he’s very likely to move off of shortstop at the next level, with third the most likely destination to take advantage of his above-average arm. As the son of a coach, he thinks like one on the field and plays like a veteran, giving more certainty that he’s going to maximize all of his tools as a pro.

ESPN's scouting report, where he ranked 6th:

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Lee was a fringe first-rounder out of high school but had a back issue that scared teams off from meeting his number. He has done nothing but hit and play shortstop effectively both for Cal Poly and in the summers, but every scout I've spoken with thinks he'll quickly slide over to third base in pro ball.

Lee also doesn't have the plus mobility/bat speed/raw power that you want to see at a top pick and he didn't play in an elite conference, but he's a slam-dunk everyday bat who gives you some defensive value.

 


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Meh. He’s already 21 and most scouts say he won’t stick at short. I know you don’t draft for need in baseball but he is already 3-4 years older than some guys. That means he joins a pile of good Twins prospects at 2nd and 3 rd.   He better hit a crap ton and the Twins better start trading some of these guys. 

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Lee is a dream pick IMO.  Most Scouts say he can stay at short as he has really good actions there it is just a matter of how you feel about his lack of speed there.  Still he is versatile enough to play second third or left field if needed. The best thing about him obviously is the bat and his advanced approach at the plate.  I think he K'd 28 time to 42 walks.  Almost double the walks to K's.  He is someone who "can" hit breaking pitches and the cherry on top is he is a switch hitter.  He is as safe a pick as you can make that high with a pretty high ceiling to boot. 

I generally don't love the Twins 1st round picks but I can't believe they were able to get Lee at 8.  I think they made an excellent choice all the way around.  Now they just need to nail their next two picks because they don't have a third rounder this year.

....Hey Jeremy feel free to say I told you so when I said no one in the top 7 would fall to the Twins.  You said other teams would have other plans and of course you were right but did you see Lee falling to eight?

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54 minutes ago, darwin22 said:

By no means opposed to this pick, but considering the dearth of organizational talent at catcher, I would've like to see Twins pick Kevin Parada from Georgia Tech.

Agree - Lee is a very solid pick and we were lucky he fell to us. I know a MLB team never really drafts for need, but the system does seem to be short catching and long 3B/2B/LF.  Parada seemed like he could’ve been a fast mover (but Lee should be too). The fact that Parada fell to the Mets at 11 might indicate the Mets were targeting him ($?).

Overall, Lee is a great pick who should be a solid major leaguer - hopefully for the Twins. 

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11 minutes ago, Dman said:

....Hey Jeremy feel free to say I told you so when I said no one in the top 7 would fall to the Twins.  You said other teams would have other plans and of course you were right but did you see Lee falling to eight?

I didn't. I thought there was a decent chance he went first. And a slim chance he'd drop out of the Top 5. 

I also didn't see Rocker and Horton going before the Twins. 

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28 minutes ago, Dman said:

Lee is a dream pick IMO.  Most Scouts say he can stay at short as he has really good actions there it is just a matter of how you feel about his lack of speed there.  Still he is versatile enough to play second third or left field if needed. The best thing about him obviously is the bat and his advanced approach at the plate.  I think he K'd 28 time to 42 walks.  Almost double the walks to K's.  He is someone who "can" hit breaking pitches and the cherry on top is he is a switch hitter.  He is as safe a pick as you can make that high with a pretty high ceiling to boot. 

I generally don't love the Twins 1st round picks but I can't believe they were able to get Lee at 8.  I think they made an excellent choice all the way around.  Now they just need to nail their next two picks because they don't have a third rounder this year.

....Hey Jeremy feel free to say I told you so when I said no one in the top 7 would fall to the Twins.  You said other teams would have other plans and of course you were right but did you see Lee falling to eight?

How does a 40 runner stick at short?  That’s Polanco territory. 

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17 minutes ago, Linus said:

How does a 40 runner stick at short?  That’s Polanco territory. 

Correa and Seager aren't that fast either and yet they play there and Correa even won a platinum glove.  More than Half of Shortstop is positioning and being able to make good throws.  Nick Gordon is fast and has a good arm but the Twins don't play him at short much and even when they do he is pretty error prone and has been his whole minor league career.  Polanco's issue was throwing as well he just didn't have the arm to make the throws and made lot's of errors as well.

With a slower speed is the team willing to gamble the player won't get to a few balls he should but can make all the other plays and throws?  That is the question you need ask about Lee.  Also with the shift and focus on lifting balls you can hide a lack of speed but you can't hide a guy who can't make the throws.  That is why some scouting services like fangraph's think Lee can stick there if the Twins want to try him there.  Most see him moving off of short but I believe the same was said about Seager as well.  Odds are he moves off but just have to wait and see how he does there first IMO.

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1 hour ago, Linus said:

Meh. He’s already 21 and most scouts say he won’t stick at short. I know you don’t draft for need in baseball but he is already 3-4 years older than some guys. That means he joins a pile of good Twins prospects at 2nd and 3 rd.   He better hit a crap ton and the Twins better start trading some of these guys. 

What? “Meh, He’s already 21”

This makes little to no sense. Instead of declaring a kid washed up at 21, how about given a reasoned, thought out answer instead of the usual “fan” snark. 

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3 minutes ago, MN_ExPat said:

What? “Meh, He’s already 21”

This makes little to no sense. Instead of declaring a kid washed up at 21, how about given a reasoned, thought out answer instead of the usual “fan” snark. 

Wow. Show me where I said he was washed up?  21 years old is not young on the prospect scale when you have played zero professional baseball. Doesn’t mean he can’t make it. 

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10 minutes ago, Dman said:

Correa and Seager aren't that fast either and yet they play there and Correa even won a platinum glove.  More than Half of Shortstop is positioning and being able to make good throws.  Nick Gordon is fast and has a good arm but the Twins don't play him at short much and even when they do he is pretty error prone and has been his whole minor league career.  Polanco's issue was throwing as well he just didn't have the arm to make the throws and made lot's of errors as well.

With a slower speed is the team willing to gamble the player won't get to a few balls he should but can make all the other plays and throws?  That is the question you need ask about Lee.  Also with the shift and focus on lifting balls you can hide a lack of speed but you can't hide a guy who can't make the throws.  That is why some scouting services like fangraph's think Lee can stick there if the Twins want to try him there.  Most see him moving off of short but I believe the same was said about Seager as well.  Odds are he moves off but just have to wait and see how he does there first IMO.

He appears to be a promising hitter so that’s great. Hardly anybody drafted as a SS sticks there to the majors. If there are questions about your ability to stay there when you are drafted and you are a 40 runner then you end up at 2nd or 3rd which is fine but that is the deepest part of the org. 

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I like Lee a lot. I was resigned to a couple guys I thought had a chance to be very good choices but was really hoping for one of Parada or Collier to slide through. There's no guarantee Parada sticks at catcher, but I was more than willing to find out. Collier is perhaps the best player out of the entire 1st round, but super young and has a ways to go. 

NEVER thought Lee would be there. He might be the best pure college "hitter" in the draft. He's got power and will probably develop more. And he can dobit from both sides of the plate.

He's got the hands, arm, and instincts to play SS. Do all of those things allow him to stay at SS? Or does a lack of pure speed and lateral quickness push him elsewhere? Depends on which scouting report you read.

Just a thought, but with the latest injury to Lewis, I just wonder if it means the Twins like him at SS and like him as a college player as a possible option at SS vs taking the younger Collier?

 

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6 minutes ago, Linus said:

Wow. Show me where I said he was washed up?  21 years old is not young on the prospect scale when you have played zero professional baseball. Doesn’t mean he can’t make it. 

It depends on where he starts out. They could start him in A ball, He can play with another 21 year old Cavacao

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1 hour ago, Linus said:

Meh. He’s already 21 and most scouts say he won’t stick at short. I know you don’t draft for need in baseball but he is already 3-4 years older than some guys. That means he joins a pile of good Twins prospects at 2nd and 3 rd.   He better hit a crap ton and the Twins better start trading some of these guys. 

OK, Dude just got drafted following his junior season in college, he's 21, and he's "too old?" He was top 5 on most every board. I can't imagine not loving this pick. 

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Hey weird connection, I live about 30 minuets from Cal Poly and even worked there for a short time. 

Definitely not known as a big baseball (or sports in general) school.  It is famously where Ozzie Smith came from as well as Weird Al Yankovic.  Former Twins Casey Fien and Kevin Corriea are both alum as well with a few more mlbers scattered throughout the years.  Seems like they have been having more kids drafted higher up in recent years, though Lee will be the 4th first round selection overall and first since 2012.

He certainly fits the big college bat mold they target in the first most years.  Interesting that his Dad is a coach like Kiriloff.

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10 minutes ago, old nurse said:

It depends on where he starts out. They could start him in A ball, He can play with another 21 year old Cavacao

Ouch. Not sure that makes this better. 

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19 minutes ago, Linus said:

Wow. Show me where I said he was washed up?  21 years old is not young on the prospect scale when you have played zero professional baseball. Doesn’t mean he can’t make it. 

Be interesting to see where he plays. Complex or Ft. Myers right away? Maybe? Martin jumped right to AA ball with Toronto, and if he was doing a tad better could've been at AAA right now at mid-season. The joy of having the Mussels at the FM complex is that you can get oevrcoached down there. 

 

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This was a very successful (and lucky) pick, period. We nabbed one of the top 3 or 4 prospects in the country (number 4 on Jamie’s composite list), who has a very high floor and excellent ceiling. Plus, he will move fast and could become a part of the Twins young core. Great choice whether he sticks at short or not. 

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24 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

Be interesting to see where he plays. Complex or Ft. Myers right away? Maybe? Martin jumped right to AA ball with Toronto, and if he was doing a tad better could've been at AAA right now at mid-season. The joy of having the Mussels at the FM complex is that you can get oevrcoached down there. 

My guess... and it's just that. 

He'll sign. Spend a couple of weeks at the Complex. Then move up to Ft. Myers for a month, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends at Cedar Rapids. 

I'd also venture to guess that they will instruct the hitting coaches not to change a thing, They probably won't touch his swing at all this season. Just let him play. He's the best hitter in the draft already. 

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