We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Hao Yu Lee, R/R, 18 years old
Lee is a very physical teenage infielder who lost and then regained some of his explosiveness coming off a severe back injury sustained sometime between when he was seen in 2019 and ’20. The formerly projectable Lee, once a viable two-way prospect, is now burly and strong and looks more like a shift-aided second base athletic fit on defense. He also rakes. Lee signed in June of 2021 and came stateside for the back half of the year, appearing in a handful of complex games and at instructs. He rips his top hand through contact with purpose and has authoritative pull power for a teenage hitter, as well as a track record of above-average contact dating back to his amateur days, though there’s very little pro track record right now. The defensive fit is precarious based on Lee’s size and middling athleticism, but he has a potent hit/power combination that gives him a shot to be something approaching an everyday player.
Jay: NR, Ethan: 16, Alex: 17
There comes a time when looking at prospects where you aren’t sure who a guy is. You hear about him, whispers even, of a potential big signing that the team makes. We don’t usually see the Phillies dabble in the international market much past those in the Dominican Republic, but this past season, they gave Hao Yu Lee $600,000 as an infield prospect from Taiwan.
That’s not chump change.
Watching this video you can see why. The swing is balanced and powerful, the ball making a loud sound off of his bat even on the one where he seemed off kilter. And when he gets a hold of one...
Folks, I think I’m in love.
Of course, we only see video of the good swings. There is still so much about him we don’t know, but his stats in an extremely small sample size this season indicate that his offense is for real. Eight hits in 22 at bats in the Gulf Coast League is impressive for any age, but it’s also only 22 at bats. This coming season, we’ll need to see some more progression from the young infielder, particularly if he goes to a higher level with better pitching, but if we’re going to get excited about one of the younger prospects in the team’s system, this guy might be it.