Welcome to July or, more importantly, draft season. We are less than two weeks away from the 2022 MLB Amateur draft, and things are heating up. The latest mock drafts are dropping, as are the rumblings about what organizations are thinking about as we careen about this year’s event.
In recent months leading up to this year’s draft, the Chicago Cubs have been linked with several names. It is a big year for the organization, after all. The Cubs are slated to pick seventh overall, their highest draft slot since 2015 when they selected outfielder Ian Happ ninth overall. As a result, the top ten is a unique scenario to find yourself in, and there is high hope for what the Cubs will do with the seventh pick.
The Cubs have already been linked to the big names of 3B Cam Collier, the son of former major leaguer Lou Collier. They have also been linked to prep SS Termarr Johnson. Either guy would be a boon to the offensive side of the organization. However, both guys may be scooped up before the Cubs’ pick. It leads to a new face: Cal Poly SS Brooks Lee.
MLB Draft: Wait, you’re telling me another shortstop?
Before we get into the frugality of the shortstop position, let us be reminded that many guys, especially on the international market, will start as a shortstop before moving off the position officially. However, Brooks Lee may be the best option, especially if Collier and Johnson are gone.
A little background on Lee shows that he is in his sophomore season at Cal Poly after redshirting last season. Looking at Lee from a bird’s eye view, the 20-year-old has 115 career games under his belt, in which he has slashed .351 / .426 / .647, along with a 1.073 OPS and a .296 ISO. To put it simply, Lee has mashed the baseball.
This season Lee is slashing .357/.462/.664, 15 home runs, and 55 RBI. Most impressively, Lee has struck out at a 9.7 percent clip and is walking at a rate just north of 16 percent. As a result, he may be one of the most underrated bats in this class, at least on paper.
Right now, there is a bit of an up-in-the-air feeling with Ed Howard and his recovery. However, top shortstop prospect Cristian Hernandez is hitting .306 in the Arizona Complex League. Kevin Made, currently at Single-A, holds a 127 wRC+ which is an excellent sight for the 19-year-old. Beyond that, however, the position is relatively thin.
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Lee would give the Cubs a fresh new option at the position and may be the perfect fit for what the Cubs want heading into the future. So Lee becomes the latest name attached with Chicago. The Cubs have made some excellent moves on paper in recent drafts, so we should trust this year won’t be any different. At least, let’s hope so for the sake of the organization, the players, and our fans.