Kansas City Royals top 10 prospects for 2019

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: Kansas City Royals hat sits on the field the MLB interleague game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 11, 2018 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: Kansas City Royals hat sits on the field the MLB interleague game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 11, 2018 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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SURPRISE, AZ – OCTOBER 18: Khallil Lee #15 of the Surprise Saguaros and Kansas City Royals in action during the 2018 Arizona Fall League on October 18, 2018 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

3. Khalil Lee, OF

Birthday: 6/26/1998 (20)
Acquired: Draft, 3rd round, 2016
Level(s): high-A Wilmington, AA Northwest Arkansas
Statistics: .263/.382/.390, 100 G, 419 PA, 18 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 16 SB, 14.1% BB, 24.6% K

Drafted as the Kansas City Royals were coming off of their first championship in 30 seasons, Khalil Lee could end up being the first position player to hit the major leagues in the Kansas City Royals rebuild.

Lee has an impressive blend of power, speed, and plate discipline for a player as young as he is. A bit on the small side, Lee has a quick bat that he’s able to direct through the zone well, generating power to all fields, and while that often means more gap power than over-the-fence power, he has the potential for consistent 25 home run production at peak levels.

The Virginia native plays an adept outfield at all three positions, and his arm, while perhaps not a double-plus arm is above-average and ranks better due to his accuracy. He has very good instincts in center, but moving to right could allow him to be an elite defender.

After cutting his strikeout rate significantly in 2018, even as he advanced to AA, Lee will be tracked closely as he could be ready for the majors sooner rather than later. He could be a positive contributor at the top of the lineup down the road, though he definitely has the raw skills to work in the middle of the lineup as well.

Lee should open back in AA in 2019, but he could finish the season in AAA and perhaps even getting a look with the Kansas City Royals by season’s end, which would be very impressive for a 21-year-old.