Mets prospect Khalil Lee: Get to know him after Wednesday's promotion

·2 min read
Mets prospect Khalil Lee sitting and holding bat during 2021 spring training
Mets prospect Khalil Lee sitting and holding bat during 2021 spring training

Mets outfield prospect Khalil Lee was called up on Wednesday to replace the injured Albert Almora Jr.

Only 22 years old, Lee was born in Newark, Del. but attended Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va. Lee was selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft, working his way up to become the No. 8 overall prospect in the Royals system, and their third-best outfield prospect.

The Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia as a senior in high school, some teams saw the left-handed Lee as a potential pitching prospect, according to his MLB.com prospect bio, but his overall athleticism and potential as a hitter led the Royals to draft him and pay above slot value to sign him as an outfielder.

Now the Mets' No. 8 prospect, per SNY contributor Joe DeMayo, Lee will likely have to get more selective at the plate before being able to make an impact at the big league level.

During his last full minor league season in 2019, Lee slashed .264/.363/.372 with eight home runs and 51 RBI in Double-A. He walked 65 times in 546 plate appearances, though his 154 strikeouts are something he needs to clean up.

But speed is the name of the game for the lefty, as he led the Texas League with 53 steals in 65 attempts.

Prior to trading for Lee this past offseason, the Mets’ top outfield prospect was first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong, who is still a ways away from the big leagues.

Lee gives the Mets a young, speedy outfield prospect who has the tools to play center field, but as MLB.com notes, he may project better as a right fielder because of his strong arm. The Mets could look at Lee as a potential fourth or fifth outfielder who could also be used in late-game scenarios as a pinch runner.

Clearly, the Mets felt strongly about Lee, as they jumped into the Andrew Benintendi trade and sent right-hander Josh Winckowski (whom they had just acquired in the Steven Matz trade) along with a player to be named later to the Red Sox in order to get him.

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