Zach Lee #85 – 2013 Top 100
Los Angels Dodgers
Date of Birth: September 13th, 1991(age 21)
Origin: 1st Round Pick(#28 overall) in 2010 out of McKinney HS(TX)
- Zach Lee Scouting Report 8/21/2011 (JD Sussman)
- Blessing’s 2012 Top 50 Prospects Scouted: Prospects 30 through 21 (Chris Blessing)
Chris Blessing: Drafted with the 28th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Zach Lee has quickly made a name for himself as a prospect to watch. Lee, the highest ranking Los Angeles Dodgers prospect in Bullpen Banter’s 2013 preseason rankings, completed his second season in full season ball as a member of the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers affiliate in the Southern League. While the numbers from his thirteen Southern League starts weren’t particularly impressive (1.386 WHIP, 9.5 H/9, 0.8HR/9, 2.32 SO/BB), his overall repertoire of pitches should play as a back-end starter in the big leagues, even if the growth in his game is moderate from this point forward. Lee is one of the highest floored 21 year old pitchers in the minors right now. His previous projections, however, as a top flight starter are likely a thing of the past. Without a true “out” pitch, it’s likely he’ll be a sinker ball pitcher who doesn’t miss many bats. While his arsenal is solid, there isn’t one pitch that stands out as a plus offering. The most likely projection for Lee is as an innings eating − perhaps even a number 3 − starter who will enjoy a long career being trusted as a steady workhorse.
Al Skorupa: It certainly seems doubtful that Lee will justify the money the Dodgers spent to buy him out of his Louisiana State commitment. I doubt the Dodgers are too worried, though. First off, they’re printing money at Dodger Stadium these days. I half expect to see Tommy LaSorda’s face smiling up at me from the next $50 bill I pick up. Secondly, as Chris points out, the news isn’t all bad. Lee may not project as an impact major league arm, but he looks like he’s got a great chance to be a useful piece of a major league staff. Lee has a well rounded game that will translate well to the majors; yet, when we’re talking about minor league performance translating to the majors, nothing translates like the ability to miss bats. I’m just not sure where, or if, Lee can add much swing and miss to his game.
Steve Fiorindo: I’m on the same page as Chris, and I think the narrative surrounding his signing helped boost Lee’s prospect status. The large signing bonus bought him away from a future of SEC football rather than being a reflection of his true talent level. There are a lot of things to like, especially Lee’s body and athleticism which bode well for his future development. However, he has already reached double-A. I have neither heard anyone rave about his pure stuff, nor did I see him flash plus while he was in the California League. I see some similarities between Zach Lee and Casey Kelly.
Stephen Kuperman: I find Zach Lee to be a curious case indeed: a former top prospect who few seem to recognize is no longer a top prospect, yet one who may break out and render my previous claim moot! He has a solid repertoire of average pitches, respectable ability to change speeds, and doesn’t seem to struggle all that much throwing strikes. His delivery is quite smooth, with the strong consistency of his arm slot being quite notable given his age and experience level; there are some occasional lapses on the tail end of his delivery that cost him command. Lee’s arm speed is only average, but he’ll flash better than that at times, giving him more oomph on his pitches at the expense of his command. Neither Lee’s stuff nor his performance record are all that inspiring − beyond indicating a possible No. 4-5 starter future; yet I feel that he may surprise us by showing both improved stuff and command in the future. He has some room to get stronger, and he’d benefit from a more assertive approach on the mound. That said, expectations should be tempered for now; he appears to be an arm whose mid-rotation outcome would likely result from his talent playing up rather than playing down.
Fantasy Outlook by Chris Blessing
Lee’s prospect projection looks much better than his fantasy projection. Without a true out pitch, it’s hard to recommend owning a pitcher in fantasy likely to give up a lot of hits while not racking up a fair amount of strikeouts. If you believe his slider could become a true out-pitch, stashing him in your minors is a good gamble.