Lee ready to put Twins' future on display in Spring Breakout

February 15th, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For many prospects in an organization, it’s tough to take center stage even during Spring Training, often limited to a handful of at-bats as late-inning replacements wearing anonymous jerseys and high numbers on the field long after the Major League players have subbed out.

But during Spring Breakout, it’s the prospects’ time to shine.

The showcase game set to take place on March 16 for the Twins will be an opportunity for many of the club’s future stars to take center stage against the top prospects from the Rays’ organization as the nightcap of a doubleheader that will feature following the big league game between the two Spring Training squads.

It’s likely fun for Twins fans to dream of a roster that features No. 1 prospect Walker Jenkins playing alongside No. 2 prospect Brooks Lee, and beyond -- and fans will get a chance to learn who will be featured for each organization as part of the roster reveal program on MLB Network on March 7 at 10 a.m. CT.

“It'll be nice to play alongside guys that are younger,” Lee said. “It's funny because I kind of flew through the Minor Leagues, so I didn't really get to play with the guys for very long. Especially last year's drafted guys like Walker, haven't really gotten the chance to play with him. So it'll be cool just to not always be in the cage, to get to play a game with him.”

Perhaps if this event had happened last year, Lee would have been among those so-called “younger” guys, but a year into his professional career, he’s already in Triple-A and knocking on the door of the Majors. Jenkins is likely to feature following his splashy professional debut in ‘23 as the other centerpiece of the Twins’ prospect roster.

It’ll be a good chance for Twins fans to meet Twins No. 4 prospect Gabriel Gonzalez, the newly acquired centerpiece of the return in the Jorge Polanco trade, who gives the organization another Top 100 prospect. Right-hander Marco Raya, the club's No. 5 prospect, hasn’t been seen much in extended game action since he was drafted in 2020, and he could feature on the mound.

Add in other pitchers to know like knuckleballer Cory Lewis (No. 14 prospect) and the fast-rising stock of C.J. Culpepper (No. 15), and the game should feature many players for Twins fans to know in the years to come.

“It's kind of like before the Major Leagues, how it is, a taste of it,” Lee said. “It's probably the closest thing to big league camp there is. It's always going to be a learning experience for guys like me and guys that are younger. You're just trying to learn, trying to get better, and then learn yourself along the way.”

Though Lee -- who could be in the Majors at some point in 2024 -- doesn’t know too much about the Rays' prospect pitchers he could be facing, he’s also thrilled to know that he’s going to feature alongside other prospects who could become household names in a few years.

“It'll be a cool experience, just to play alongside those guys,” Lee said. “That's the future.”