After being excluded from The Athletic’s top 100 prospect ranking (subscription needed), the Houston Astros found themselves with one player on the outside looking in. That prospect is catcher Korey Lee, who ranks at the top of the system by numerous outlets.
Keith Law hasn’t been a fan of Houston in recent months, diminishing the accolades of Yuli Gurriel, but he does believe Lee would rank No. 101, if his list surpassed 100 players.
Astros Korey Lee’s “lower ceiling” kept him from breaking The Athletic’s top 100.
Lee threw out 43 percent of the runners that took the chance on him over the last three seasons, leading to Law calling him a “plus defender with a powerful and accurate arm.”
At the plate, the 22-year-old is identified as a solid contact hitter just “without much impact or patience.” With a declining OPS over three leagues, Lee finished his 2021 season slashing .778.
This is higher than the league average but hints to more consistency needed at the Triple-A level. Lacking bigger power, Law eyes Lee’s pitch recognition as “fine,” while his exit velocity is trending to harder-hit singles and doubles.
"“I do think at worst he’s a soft regular thanks to his defense and contact rates,” Law said."
Lee will be Rule 5 Draft eligible in December, and with the current Astros’ backstops on expiring contracts, the former first-round pick could be a candidate to get his feet wet in September and join the 40-man roster.
While currently off the 40-man, Lee can continue to play in the minors, even during the lockout. He will be 23-years-old by season’s end, and if his offensive production progresses in a healthy season, we could see him joining a taxi squad or even the roster late into the season.