Khalil Lee Shows All Five Tools In Carolina League
Outfielder Khalil Lee stands at the forefront of the Royals’ future wave of talent. The 20-year-old hit .260/.399/.401 with four home runs and 12 stolen bases through 66 games at high Class A Wilmington.
Royals veteran scout Donnie Williams said Lee has the tools to be a difference-maker in the big leagues. "He’s a five-tool guy," Williams said. "He’s got a plus arm.”
Lee's 47 walks led the Carolina League, which contributed to the second best on-base percentage in the league. He has the speed and defensive ability to play center field at Kauffman Stadium.
"He’s playing a real high quality center field," general manager Dayton Moore said. "He’s lefthanded with power in his bat. His (pitch) selection is really, really good. His tools are special. It’s just a matter of him getting the necessary repetitions and meeting the challenge at each level.”
The Royals made Lee a 2016 third-round pick out of high school in Virginia. Some clubs wanted to draft him as a pitcher based on his 7-0, 0.33 showing on the mound as a senior, but he now has a clear path to the majors in the batter's box.
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD
The Royals are optimistic that when Lee arrives in Kansas City, Seuly Matias will soon join him in the outfield.
The Royals signed Matias for $2.25 million in 2015 as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. The powerful righthanded batter hit seven home runs at Rookie-level Burlington last season.
He had more than tripled that total in the first half of 2018 at low Class A Lexington.
Through 56 games, Matias hit 244/.314/.632 with a minor league-leading 22 home runs. The South Atlantic League record is 40 by Russell Branyan in 1996.
"He’s got tremendous power," Moore said. "You can put whatever grade you want on his raw power.
"He’s got a chance to play an above-average outfield, (either) right field or left field . . . He’s a tremendous power package, with great makeup, and he just keeps getting better and better.”
Will Matias' raw power translate to 30 homers in the majors?
"I don’t know,” Moore said. "There are a lot of guys with tremendous raw power in the minor leagues and they don’t make enough contact in the major leagues. Time will tell. He’s in Low-A and he’s doing what we want him to do.”