Back in February, when the Mets acquired Khalil Lee, I wrote a scouting report on him, which you can read here. To summarize: he offers plus defense and plus speed, but he’s had problems with the bat. His eye has been solid throughout his minor league career, but he’s struggled as a hitter since he was drafted.
So far, his Mets career has gotten off to a rocky start. In 17 plate appearances in spring training, Lee racked up a total of zero hits. He walked once, scored one run, and struck out nine times. It is, to put it bluntly, not what you want. There were reports of a swing change, but the swing did not look that much different in his short, but unsuccessful, run in spring training in 2021. However, it is important to note three things: 1) spring training does not matter, 2) it is less than 20 plate appearances, and 3) growth does not happen in a vacuum. He will have more than enough time to work out his offensive game.
For the Mets and Lee, 2021 offers a lot of things, and he is absolutely someone to keep an eye on as the year progresses. The Mets are obviously fans of him, as they traded for him, and he will almost certainly play every day in center field for the Syracuse Mets in Triple-A. He also represents virtually the only upper minors outfield depth the Mets have. Here at Amazin’ Avenue, we have six outfielders on our top 25; one of whom is no longer in the organization—Isaiah Greene—and the rest of them age-20 and below. Simply put, not one of them is close to making a major league impact.
Lee could be ready for the majors soon, especially if the bat comes around. On top of that, as of now, Michael Conforto is a free agent after the year, and the Mets’ outfield depth gets murky if he walks and the designated hitter arrives in the National League, pushing Dom Smith there. If the swing change does hit and he becomes a more complete player, he can make an impact in Queens soon. As of now, he is someone to watch in Syracuse.