Korey Lee, C, HOU

I wrote about Korey Lee last summer for BaseballHQ.com (link $), but it’s time to bring him into the MiLBAnalysis family.

Video courtesy of R McElhaney
  • Born: July 25, 1998
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’2″, 210-lbs
  • Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of California, Berkeley.

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

With catcher we grade on a curve. If they can put up any kind of offense to go with their defense, we accept that gratefully and humbly. So when you see a catcher like Lee putting up good OBP and power numbers, and great strikeout numbers, and even a bit of speed, well, you get a little excited.

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Breaking it down by level, and noting his late-season appearance in Triple-A was both short, affected by an oblique strain, and a moral victory for any player who started the year in High-A, we see that his OBP flourished in High-A, and his power blossomed in Double-A, and his strikeout rate more or less didn’t care where he was playing.

Pretty good wRC+ for a catcher, at least until he gets to Triple-A, but as noted before we forgive him that, and expect he will start 2022 at Triple-A and once again won’t strike out too much.

Savant doesn’t yet have his 2021 spray chart, but his 2019 is about as balanced a chart as I’ve seen. Only the triples were to right field, and for a RHB that is opposite-field power on the rise. Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, those are triples for a catcher!

He hits lefties better, no doubt about that. But against RHP his OBP at High-A was .363, and at Double-A it was .303. That’ll work.

The Scouts

Warnings

Better hitting against lefties would be nice.

Solidifying more power would be good.

Conclusion

He’s a defensively skilled catcher with a plus-plus arm. He’s going to reach the major leagues. And when he does, while his power might be only average, and he might only hit — barely — 20 HRs at his peak, those bat skills will let him get on base. A lot.

Would you like a catcher who can almost guarantee a batting average that will never go below .250 (and some years be considerably higher)? Get to know Mr. Korey Lee.

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