By Steve Kirk, TSB Editor
Former McKinney High athlete Zach Lee is making a positive impression on his Major League Baseball organization, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and other teams around baseball.
Lee, a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher, was promoted this season to the Class AA Chattanooga Lookouts. It’s Lee’s first trip to Double-A in his brief professional career, which began in 2010 after the Dodgers drafted him 28th overall in the first round.
Lee’s name was mentioned in trade talks as a player coveted by the Houston Astros when the struggling ‘Stros were looking to trade veteran Carlos Lee for prospects. Instead, the Astros traded Lee to the Miami Marlins, ending the speculation for now.
However, the trade deadline isn’t until July 31, so expect Lee to be requested often by teams looking to unload veterans (and their high-priced contracts) to Los Angeles in any General Manager discussions between now and then. Baseball America ranks Lee as the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect in the organization. It also ranks him as having the best control among all Dodgers’ pitching prospects.
Lee has thrown only 14 innings in Chattanooga since his promotion, giving up 18 hits and eight earned runs while striking out 11 and walking five. His record is 0-1. Prior to his promotion, Lee recorded 42 strikeouts and gave up just 10 walks in 55.1 innings at High-A Rancho Cucamonga of the California League.
Lee’s friend, classmate and former Lions teammate, Matt Lipka, is still in the Atlanta Braves organization after the Braves selected him 35th overall in the supplemental first round in 2010.
Lipka, also 20, is playing for High-A Lynchburg in the Carolina League. He is batting .271 with a .335 on base percentage in 51 games and 199 at bats this season. He has two homers, 13 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Lipka started out as a shortstop for the Braves but has since been converted to center field.
Baseball America ranks Lipka as the Braves’ fastest base runner and best athlete among all of its prospects.