Prospect Profile: Josh Lee

After debuting the 2004 Top Prospect list, TigsTown.com's Minor League Editor Mark Anderson takes an in depth look at each and every prospect in the Top 50. First up, a hard hitting First baseman still in the developmental stages, but plenty of upside to leave some waiting for more.

Josh Lee
Position: First Base Height: 6-4 Weight: 220 Born: 9/13/82
Bats: Left Throws: Right

Background
Lee was taken on the second day of the 2004 First Year Player Draft in the 30th round, out of McMurry University. A standout Division-III athlete, Lee ended his collegiate career by leading the Indians to a conference tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Josh finished as the single season (17) and career (33) homerun leaders in the American Southwest Conference, and also led his team in RBI, on-base percentage, and fielding percentage. Lee had been a shortstop his first three years in college, but made the successful move to first base prior to his senior season at McMurry.

Scouting Report
With some of the best raw power in all of Division-III, Lee will make his money driving the ball out of the yard with regularity. Lee is a rather advanced hitter for someone who didn't play major college baseball. A good understanding of the strike zone and a willingness to wait for a pitch he can drive, Josh has the basis of a nice all around offensive package. In his first exposure to pro ball this past summer, Lee struggled with the transition to a wood bat, posting only a .228 average, with diminished power, but the potential was still readily evident. Scouts have compared Lee's approach at the plate to Philadelphia's Jim Thome, but don't expect similar career results. With additional work during the offseason and continued adjustments to the professional game, Lee could make strides in 2005, but he is likely a long ways off from being considered a top prospect. As a former middle infielder, Lee is agile around the bag, with soft hands and good instincts. An above average arm could allow Lee a move to the outfield if necessary, but the organization will give him the opportunity to succeed at first. Power potential, patience, and a good glove give Josh a chance, but he is very raw and has a lot of obstacles to overcome.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

AVG

HR

RBI

SO

BB

2B

SLG%

OPS

2004

GCL Tigers

114

.228

3

10

39

18

2

.325

.663


Health Record
At this point, Lee has had no significant injuries.

The Future
A likely trip to Oneonta next season, gives Lee some extra time in Florida to improve his swing and become more confident with a wood bat. Josh will be hard pressed to put up eye-catching offensive numbers in the New York-Penn League, but he should be able to improve both his contact ability and show some modest increase in his slugging. Without a breakthrough season at some point, expect Lee to move up slowly as a long shot to see Detroit.


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