PLAYER: Lee Hyde
SIZE: 6'2", 190
OPENING DAY 2010 AGE: 25
BORN: February 14, 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia
LIVES: Fayetteville, Georgia
SCHOOL: Georgia Tech
HOW HE BECAME A BRAVE:
Lee was drafted by the Braves in the fourth round (130th overall pick) of the 2006 draft out of Georgia Tech.
Hyde has a plus-fastball that is in the 90-93 mph range. His best breaking ball is a knuckle-curve, and he has a changeup. All three pitches are solid pitches.
Lee Hyde had Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2007, which was his first full season in the Atlanta organization. He returned in late June of 2008, pitching in six games with the GCL Braves, and then two games in Myrtle Beach. But Hyde was shut down in late July, 2008. He experienced some discomfort, and it just took longer for him to recover from the TJ surgery.
2009 IN REVIEW:
Hyde stayed in extended spring training when the 2009 season started, and then made his season debute on May 19 in Myrtle Beach. Hyde pitched in 17 games with the Pelicans, posting a 3-1 record and a 1.21 ERA. Hyde allowed only 13 hits in 22.1 innings, with 9 walks, and 28 strikeouts. After his appearance on August 14 for Myrtle Beach, the Braves promoted Hyde to Double-A Mississippi for the rest of the season. Hyde pitched in seven games, with a 2-1 record, a 4.35 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings. With the need for more work, the Braves sent Hyde to the Arizona Fall League. Hyde had 13 appearances for the Peoria Saguaros, with an ERA of 3.00, 7 hits allowed in 12 innings, 7 walks, and 13 strikeouts.
The Braves believe they have found a lefty specialist in Lee Hyde. He bounced back nicely this year after having some trouble coming back from Tommy John surgery. He's a power lefty, with a solid fastball and very plus breaking stuff. His knuckle-curve is a different pitch, but it's truly effective. One National League scout said Hyde has the best immediate potential of all the pitchers in the upper levels of the Atlanta system. Hyde was placed on the 40-man roster, and he'll get a very close look in spring training. He'll likely begin the year in Triple-A Gwinnett, but don't be surprised at all if Hyde is in the big leagues at some point in 2010. The Braves already have Billy Wagner, Eric O'Flaherty, and Boone Logan as lefty relievers ahead of Hyde. But if he's effective and stays out of the trainer's room next season, expect the Braves to turn to Hyde if they need a good reliever.
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly baseball column for The Macon Telegraph and is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.
PLAYER PROFILE: Lee Hyde
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