Twins agree with first-round pick Brooks Leereports Ted Schwerzler of Twins Daily (Twitter link). The former Cal Poly star will receive a signing bonus of $5.675 million.
Lee, 21, fell to the Twins in eighth overall on Sunday, a bit of a surprise. He ranked among the top six prospects in the draft in the estimation of Baseball America, The Athletic, ESPN, FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline. All but ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel named Lee the top college prospect in the class (McDaniel had him second behind Kevin Parada), with unanimous praise for its successful tool projection. Baseball America suggests that the switch-hitting infielder could become a plus-plus hitter (a rating of 70 on the 20-80 scale) at his peak. Other outlets weren’t as optimistic, but they all project him as an above-average hitter at minimum while raving about his awareness of the strike zone.
That was on full display at Cal Poly, where Lee dominated the mid-major pitch. After barely playing in 2020 due to the combination of an early-season injury and the cancellation of the pandemic season, he spent the next two seasons as the Mustangs’ daily shortstop. He posted an OPS north of 1,000 every year, combining to hit .351/.426/.647 with 64 walks and 63 strikeouts in 538 college plate appearances. The Big West haven’t been one of the best conferences in the country in recent seasons, but Lee also raked in a 21-game stint in the Cape Cod League last summer and drew solid visual ratings from scouts. for his offensive advantage.
Lee isn’t a big runner, and most outlets predict he’ll leave shortstop before or soon after he reaches the majors. He’s a fluid defenseman with good hands, so the general expectation is that he’ll stay in the infield at second or third base.
According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, the eighth overall pick has a slot value of $5.4424 million. Lee’s bonus comes in a bit above that mark, although it is slightly below the previous pick’s slot value. Minnesota’s overall bonus pool is just north of $10 million.