Steady Adjustments Lead To Big Gains For Astros' Korey Lee
Korey Lee continues to close in on Minute Maid Park—literally.
Lee moved to Houston this winter, completing a transformational offseason during which the Astros cleared a path for major league playing time, he impressed in the Arizona Fall League and earned a spot on the Top 100 Prospects ranking.
“Making the move out here has been really strong for me, my career and what’s going to go forward,” Lee said. “It’s been really nice to get comfortable in Houston, to feel like I’m at home and also train at the same time.
"I haven’t been able to do that since high school. I’ve always been on the move and going from hotel to hotel and apartment to apartment. I get to solidify home.”
Lee and his girlfriend settled in Katy, a town about 20 miles west of Houston, and he maintained offseason workouts at a facility that houses many other Astros minor leaguers. Lee is not on the 40-man roster, meaning he is allowed to contact organizational coaches and instructors during the lockout.
It’s valuable communication given the many adjustments Lee made throughout the 2021 season. Lee, 23, ascended three levels—ending with a cameo in the Triple-A playoffs—all while refining his game.
Astros coaches asked Lee to use a one-knee catching stance to quicken the release of his throws. They shortened his arm stroke, too, in hopes of extracting more out of an already-plus arm. Lee threw out 43% of basestealers in 2021.
Lee eliminated the long stride in his stance and quieted a lot of the pre-pitch movement he showed in college. Scouts are impressed with Lee’s contact rate, but he could unleash more power if his mechanics improve.
“I’m very, very comfortable. I’ve really learned myself now,” Lee said. “. . . It’s been a whirlwind of baseball (since turning pro), but I’ve learned a lot and gotten comfortable and trusting what I’m doing."