Minor League Prospect Note: Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers promoted pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts in late June, and his four starts have brought mixed results:
June 27th against Mississippi Braves: 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
July 3rd vs. Tennessee Smokies: 3 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts
July 8th against Tennessee Smokies: 5 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 1 strikeout
July 15th against Mississippi Braves: 2.1 innings, 7 hits, 8 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Overall, he's thrown 16.1 innings in Double-A, with 25 hits, 19 runs, a 13/8 K/BB and an 8.82 ERA.
Before his promotion, Lee had a 4.55 ERA with a 52/10 K/BB in 55 innings for Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League. His FIP was somewhat better than his ERA at 4.03, with a low walk rate being his best statistical marker.
Scouting reports from the Cal League had his fastball as low as 88 MPH and as high as 93. He's still throwing a good slider, and his curveball is reportedly significantly improved this year, giving him two strong breaking balls to work with. His changeup is inconsistent but very good when it's working. Scouts continue to praise his smooth delivery and overall athleticism.
At age 20, Lee young for Double-A, and while he was doing well in the Cal League, he wasn't dominating High-A in the manner that would normally warrant a rapid promotion. The Dodgers aren't afraid to be aggressive with pitchers, with Allen Webster, Chris Withrow, and Ethan Martin all making the High-A/Double-A mid-season jump in recent years.