Kansas City Royals scouting report on OF Khalil Lee

SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Khallil Lee #15 of the Kansas City Royals warms up before the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Khallil Lee #15 of the Kansas City Royals warms up before the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Scouting Report

Size/Build

Lee is listed at 5’11” or 5’10”, and he’s probably more like 5’9″, but he has an incredibly athletic build. A high school basketball player, he once told a scout that he could dunk a basketball. While finding verification on the veracity of that statement is difficult, Lee definitely is a tightly-wound athlete, likely weighing in around 180-190 pounds.

Lee’s batting stance from the left side features a slightly open foot setup that he takes a short stride to align. He has minimal bat movement prior to his swing, staying quiet until his bat enters the zone.

Hitting

Contact (50) – Lee has incredibly quick wrists, which allows his line drive swing to make impact with the ball. His bat control is not elite, and his swing can get long at times, but a lot of the progress he saw in 2018 in his strikeout rate had to do with shortening his swing with two strikes.

Power (55) – While he’s not had huge home run numbers, Lee has plenty of raw power and can put on shows in batting practice. In game, Lee uses an all-fields approach that sprays hard line drives throughout the field.

Eye (55) – Lee has always possessed an excellent walk rate, but his work this year has taken him beyond zone recognition to pitch recognition skills that could be plus if they take a similar step in 2019.

Base Running/Fielding

Speed (60) – While if you took Lee’s speed at top-end, he’d be a double-plus runner, he’s not a guy that hits that speed tremendously quick. He has learned how to utilize his instincts on the bases better in stealing bases, but his lack of first-step quickness will keep him from ever being a 30-steal guy.

Defense (60) – Lee can play this up well, using his instincts to run down balls, but his first-step quickness keeps him from the truly elite in the outfield. While he’s a plus center fielder, he would be a double-plus right fielder.

Arm (65) – The excellent arm he possessed in high school is still there for Lee. He can throw from any spot on the field with accuracy. He doesn’t have the strongest arm you’ll ever see, but he certainly has a plus arm, and his accuracy on his throws allows it to play up another tick.