LUBBOCK, Texas – For the last two seasons, no shortstop in the country has been as consistent while putting up impressive numbers as Brooks Lee.
One of the top players in the country coming out of San Luis Obispo (Calif.) High School in 2019, Lee fought through a hamstring injury that required surgery and limited him to just two pinch-hitting appearances in 2020 before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It appeared as though his decision to turn down the MLB Draft coming out of high school and attend Cal-Poly might have backfired.
But all the 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior did was put together back-to-back Big West Conference Field Player of the Year-caliber seasons for his hometown college, which just happened to be coached by his father, Larry. He also put together an impressive set of number that now has him positioned to potentially be drafted within the top 10 picks of the 2022 MLB Draft in July.
Those numbers, that consistency and that belief in himself make Lee the 2022 winner of the Brooks Wallace Award, presented by the College Baseball Foundation to honor the nation’s top collegiate shortstop.
“The Wallace family is honored and delighted to have Brooks represent the Brooks Wallace Award,” said Larry Wallace, co-chair of the Brooks Wallace Award committee. “His hard work, dedication and perseverance through injury to become the player that he is today shows he is a fantastic choice for this award. I know that Brooks would be proud of this young man as the choice for this year.”
The award, which will be presented later this year, is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia in 1985 at the age of 27.
On the 2022 season, Lee hit .357 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI in leading the Mustangs to a second-place finish in the Big West. He also compiled a .462 on-base percentage and a .664 slugging percentage while walking 46 times and striking out only 28 times. Most importantly, he was a master in the field, finishing with a .951 fielding percentage while turning 25 double plays and recording 144 assists and 68 putouts.
A finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award in 2021, this year Lee led the Big West in hits (84), walks (46), doubles (25), home runs, runs scored (56), RBI, slugging percentage and total bases (156) and he was second in batting average and on-base percentage. He produced hitting streaks of 19 and 12 games and led the Mustangs with 26 multiple-hit games and 16 multiple-RBI contests.
Lee was twice named Big West Field Player of the Week, giving him five such awards in his Mustang career, en route to winning his second straight Big West Conference Field Player of the Year honor.
In addition to his conference honors, Lee was a five-time All-American honoree as a sophomore and has already been named to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s first-team All-American team in 2022. He also was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
“I’m not sure we have had a more decorated player for this award than Brooks Lee,” said Tom Quigley, co-chair of the Brooks Wallace Award committee. “His accomplishments from all around the NCAA, from his own university, conference and the entire Division I level speak for themselves. All indications are he will have a promising future as well.”
For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award, visit the College Baseball Foundation website at www.collegebaseballhall.org.