Khalil Lee
20-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Kansas City Royals AA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Lee's physical tools and on-field performance have not always lined up, but he reached Double-A a day after turning 20 en route to emerging as the Royals' best prospect. He only hit six home runs in 100 games, as he is still learning to access his huge raw power in games, but he made huge strides with his approach, significantly cutting his strikeout rate while utilizing the whole field. Lee's above-average speed resulted in 16 steals on 21 attempts -- he could steal 20-plus over a full season. His 58.1 GB% at Double-A sunk his batting average, but he had never logged even a 48.0 GB% at previous stops, so hopefully he can recapture his batted ball profile from High-A. Lee specifically struggled against same-handed pitching (.248/.331/.330 vs. LHP), but his plus arm and above-average athleticism give him a chance to be an impact defender in center field or right field, which should keep his bat in the lineup. He appears on track for an early 2020 MLB debut. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a contract with the Royals in June of 2016 that includes a $750,000 signing bonus.
Plates two vs. Cincinnati
OFKansas City Royals  AA
March 8, 2019
Lee went 3-for-3 with two RBI, a double, a stolen base and a run scored Friday against the Reds.
Lee has been impressive in limited at-bats this spring, as he's now 4-for-5 at the dish. Both of his RBI came in the fifth inning of Friday's exhibition on a single to right field. Lee is ranked as Kansas City's top fantasy prospect, although he hit an unimpressive .245 with two homers and 10 RBI through 29 games at Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season, which is where he's expected to begin his 2019 campaign.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Khalil Lee
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James Anderson checks out the teenagers making a big impression in Rookie league action so far, including first overall pick Mickey Moniak.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Ronald Acuna and Fernando Tatis Jr., two of the 10 best prospects in baseball, were the only other teenagers to hit 15-plus home runs and steal 15-plus bases in full-season ball. Lee’s 32.1 percent strikeout rate and .237 average were mediocre, but everything else about his age 18/19 campaign at Low-A was impressive. Despite hitting for a low average, Lee walked at a 12.2 percent clip (fifth best in the Sally League), en route to finishing with a 125 wRC+. He is athletic, but while he stole 20 bases last year, he was caught 18 times and does not project to be much of a threat on the bases by the time he reaches the majors. His power and on-base skills are significant, however, and he has a howitzer of an arm, so he should have no problem manning right field. Lee should be a much better bet in OBP leagues than rotisserie formats, but he won’t turn 20 until late June, so it’s too soon to say he won’t be able to develop into a .250 or .260 hitter.
Many teams actually viewed Lee as a better fit on the mound heading into the 2016 draft, but based on the early returns, his days of toeing the rubber are over. A quick-twitch athlete with a good shot at sticking in center field, Lee showed power, speed, and a quality approach despite being almost two years younger than the average player in the Arizona League. He finished first in walks (33) and third in OPS (.880) among teenagers in the AZL and was one of just two players in the entire league -- Indians first-rounder Will Benson being the other -- with five-plus homers, five-plus steals, and 20-plus walks. Unlike several other tooled-up, high-pedigree hitters in the AZL like Benson, Seuly Matias and Oscar Gonzalez, Lee produced while keeping his strikeout rate below 30 percent (25.7). The Royals were able to grab Lee in the third round, but he should be treated like a first-round talent in dynasty league drafts this spring.
More Fantasy News
Out with back soreness
OFKansas City Royals  AA
August 4, 2018
Lee was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with back soreness, Jeffrey Flanagan of reports.
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Hit in head by pitch
OFKansas City Royals  AA
June 30, 2018
Lee left Saturday's game against Double-A San Antonio after he was in hit in the head with a pitch.
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Promoted to Double-A
OFKansas City Royals  AA
June 27, 2018
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Better success on bases at High-A
OFKansas City Royals  AA
April 26, 2018
Lee is hitting .283/.450/.483 with two home runs, six steals (on six attempts) and career-best 21.3 percent walk and 26.3 percent strikeout rates for High-A Wilmington.
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Shows potential in first campaign at Low-A
OFKansas City Royals  AA
September 14, 2017
Lee slashed .237/.344/.430 with 171 strikeouts over 121 games in his first season with Low-A Lexington.
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