Lee racks up third 4-hit game of year, first at Triple-A

September 4th, 2023

For some players, the difference between how they feel in batting practice vs. the game can be night and day. For , Sunday was one of those times.

The No. 18 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline spent the better part of his pregame preparation questioning his swing and pondering possible adjustments. But then he went 4-for-5, clubbing a home run and a triple in Triple-A St. Paul’s 14-6 loss to Columbus at CHS Field.

“I was beating myself up in BP,” Lee said. “I’m doing machine work and I’m like, ‘I can’t tell if I want to make an adjustment with a certain thing because I keep beating the ball into the ground or do I want to just try to stop thinking because that might be my problem.’”

Lee’s night marked his third four-hit performance of the season, the first since his promotion to Triple-A.

The switch-hitting shortstop collected his first hit right out of the gate, lining a single to left field from the right side in the first inning. He then flipped around and deposited a base hit to center in the third.

Batting from the left side again in the fifth, Lee sent a flare to left just past the reach of No. 28 Guardians prospect Jhonkensy Noel and dashed around the bases for a triple. The knock plated Kyle Garlick.

In the ninth with the Clippers leading, 6-5, the No. 2 Twins prospect slugged a 392-foot homer that knotted the game. The jack was his 13th of the season, his second with the Saints.

“The splitter I got to hit the home run off of, it was a perfect pitch for me to hit,” Lee said. “If that pitch was down where it was supposed to be, I’m more susceptible to chase that pitch.”’

The 2022 eighth overall pick has spent a lot of time thinking about the biggest difference he's seen at the Minors' top level -- namely the accuracy of the pitchers. In 23 games with St. Paul, Lee has posted a 19-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a higher clip than when he was at Double-A, where he fanned 63 times and drew 41 free passes.

Lee tallied three of his four hits Sunday batting from the left side. This season, the shortstop has had 71 plate appearances from the right side and 278 from the left, posting a .715 and .872 OPS respectively.

“They’re completely two different people and two different swings,” Lee said. “It’s an everlasting thing. Left-handed … I can make a quick adjustment, but from the other side, because I hardly get to hit from that side in a game, I’m just like, ‘Dude, I can’t tell what I want to do.’”

With the four-hit performance, Lee upped his slash line to .260/.314/.417. He may have only 23 games under his belt at the top level of the Minors, but a cup of coffee in the Majors may be in his near future.