Brooks Lee came to the Twins as a shortstop prospect with plenty of promise. He may have some of the best bat-to-ball skills of any draftee in recent memory, and there’s plenty of indication that he can stick at shortstop. Needing to supplement a farm system that has seen plenty of graduations over the past year, a talent like Lee is the exact type of player you’d like to land.
There is no denying that year one as a professional went anything but exceptional. Lee started in the Complex League but lasted just four games before outgrowing the competition. He then skipped Low-A Fort Myers entirely and went to High-A Cedar Rapids. In 25 games in Iowa, he posted an .848 OPS, and when the season ended, it was evident he could help Double-A Wichita during their postseason run. To say that the hype around him has increased would be putting it lightly.
Joining a group of talented infield prospects such as Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, Lee provides plenty of promise. I caught up with the star prospect as he reflected on his 2022, what the offseason entails, and how 2023 may look.
Twins Daily: Entering pro ball, what is the thing that most took you by surprise? Maybe something that was opposite of your expectations?
Brooks Lee: I think what took me most by surprise was the speed of the game. It seemed like people still ran hard down to first base and did things that normally wouldn’t be done because of how long the season is. It was nice to see people still playing the game hard.
TD: You had a wildly successful debut, what can you most attribute that to?
BL: I think working hard and smarter has contributed to my success on the field. My confidence has stayed high, and I also really enjoy playing this game, which is necessary. It was a short debut of games for me, but I am excited to see what a full season has in store for me. Hoping to keep producing on offense and defense.
TD: Although the time at Double-A was brief, what was the biggest difference you noticed between that level and Single-A?
BL: The biggest difference from High-A to Double-A was the pitching. It seemed as if every team had some good flamethrowers who also executed their off-speed pitches wherever they wanted, and in any count. The starters had multiple pitches that they could manipulate very well with a very low error rate. I also thought pitches were in the zone more often which is helpful for me.
TD: Now with exposure behind you, what are you most focused on for training this offseason?
BL: I think the focus of the off-season will be about hitting pitches that had given me more trouble than others and continue trying to develop my speed and strength. The Twins have been very helpful in creating a plan for me to come back better than the year before.
TD: How would you evaluate the production from this year? What is a weakness you’re trying to improve on?
BL: I think I can continue to get better in all areas. For offense, I want to develop more power, and I’m sure that will come with seeing more professional pitching. Usually, my doubles come in bunches, but next year I would like to hit a lot more than I showed this summer. My speed is a weakness, so my first step will be critical in my development as a shortstop.
TD: Thinking ahead to next season, what is something you want to accomplish in 2023?
BL: As of right now, I haven’t thought of many goals for next year, but hitting well above .300 is always a goal. At the end of the year, no matter what level I am at, I will hopefully be looking forward to competing and winning a championship.
TD: Ending on a light note, off the diamond, what are you doing to relax and unwind this offseason?
BL: I don’t do much outside of baseball, but I always enjoy my off time with my girlfriend. She is at Cal Poly where I went, so it is nice to spend time with her and family. Being in San Luis Obispo is great, and I enjoy being by the water any chance I get. I don’t think there will be much time away from baseball, and I’m all good with that!