Twins reassign No. 2 prospect Lee after 'great camp'

March 22nd, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Despite their Grapefruit League action being rained out on Friday, big news came out of Twins camp as the spring roster continued to shrink.

Ranked as the Twins' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and No. 18 overall, shortstop was reassigned to Minor League camp on Friday. The Twins have 40 players remaining in Major League camp.

Even though he didn't make the Opening Day roster, Lee, who exited Thursday's game with back spasms, is at the top of the list of guys to be called up this season.

"He had a great camp," said manager Rocco Baldelli. "He’s fantastic to work with. He’s a great kid. He’s level-headed, and he’s got a good way about him. He’s got a good baseball mind. He played well. Showing up to the ballfield and playing baseball every day is actually challenging for some guys. It’s one thing to play a high school or college-type schedule, five days a week of baseball, it's another thing to do this every single day and do it well.

"He handles all of that stuff as well as a young person can handle it. ... A lot of compliments for him, but we reassigned him today."

In 2023, Lee slashed .275/.347/.461 in 125 games at Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul. In 13 games this spring, the 23-year-old batted .333/.351/.611 with seven extra-base hits and four RBIs, consistently showing that he could handle himself against big league talent.

While much of Lee’s scouting report hinged upon his advanced approach at the plate, that level of maturity translated to both sides of the ball -- even in a short stretch of time. The decision to reassign Lee certainly did not stem from a lack of results or confidence in his abilities.

For Minnesota, it feels as though they have a viable middle infielder of the future waiting in the wings. And while his first stint with the Twins will have to wait, there’s a prevailing belief that Lee’s time in the Majors could be right around the corner whenever he’s ready.

“For the people that haven’t seen him play a lot firsthand, he showed us that he can go out there and play shortstop,” said Baldelli. “He showed us a lot at shortstop. He showed us he can move around the field with ease. … He had some good offensive days, and he handled being a young player in camp just the way you would want to see a guy do it.

“He left everyone with an excellent feeling with his time here, and he was here almost until the end. He couldn’t have used his time any better.”