MLB Draft 2011 Astros Draftee Profile: Christopher Lee, LHP, Santa Fe Community College, Fourth Round

Summary

How little we have to go on with some of these selections. Things to like about Lee, though, are that he's young for being a junior college guy and that he's still got room to grow.

His frame could definitely fill out some, at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, which will help him add velocity and the ability to stick as a starter. He had the best fastball on his staff, at time this season, according to Baseball America. It sits anywhere from 88-92 and has touched 94 in the past, but he needs to develop better mechanics to get it to stay any higher. His slider also flashes well, so if he can add another pitch, he's got enough to be a good starter.

In that one video I was able to find on him (featuring exactly one throw), his delivery seems a bit violent. By that, I mean his arm really snaps through his delivery. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but I'd rather see someone throwing with a little less effort. That's also something that can be cleaned up by coaching.

I wonder if the Astros are taking him to fill the gap they were looking for with Chris Reed. Lee is more of a developmental guy who reminds me a lot of Vincent Velasquez or Evan Grills. Wait, scratch that, the guy he should probably be compared to is Brad Dydalewicz, though I wish him a better career path than that. 

Floor

Without knowing enough about his full repertoire, it's hard to know what his floor might be. Looking at his one grainy delivery video, I'm inclined to think he's got a chance of injury down the road (what pitcher doesn't, Coleman?), but I also think he could stick as a reliever with the pitches he has now. A left-handed specialist isn't what you're looking for in the fourth round, but I'm sure the Astros would take it.

Ceiling

If he fills out, adds a little velocity to his fastball, he's a solid mid-rotation guy. He's got the frame to pitch some innings if he stays healthy and adds more starting pitching depth to the Astros system.

Will the Astros sign him?

Not too many concerns here. I wonder if the Astros would have preferred to pull a draft-and-follow on a guy like Lee to see how he develops next spring. Since that isn't an option, I expect he'll sign pretty quickly and get to the Gulf Coast League.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump

  

Baseball America

At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, lefthander Chris Lee is a stringbean with room to fill out if his frame will allow it. At his best, Lee had the best fastball on the Santa Fe staff, which also included hard-throwing Ben O'Shea and state JC pitcher of the year Malcolm Clapsaddle. Lee touched 94 mph, sat 89-93 and at times had an above-average slider. He threw well at the state's JC tournament, raising his draft stock, but also was a known commodity, as the White Sox drafted him in the 37th round in 2010 out of a Tampa-area high school.

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