Updated: May 28
This will be where we track Korey Lee's progress to hopefully a September call up.
When Korey Lee was sent to AAA at the start of the season, it was done because the Astros thought Yainer Diaz was ahead of him hitting.
Some even considered the Astros bringing Salazar to the Astros an indictment that Salazar was ahead of Lee. I didn't believe that then, and I certainly believe it less now. They did not want Lee to be Salazared with playing time.
What were the goals for Lee? What would Lee have to do to prove he could play in the MLB?
Succeed as a hitter.
Lee hit 0.238/ 0.307/ 0.483 - 90 wRC+ last year in AAA.
This was far less impressive before he was called up - 0.226/ 0.285/ 0.419 - 70 wRC+
After he was sent back down to AAA in August- 0.256/ 0.341/ 0.583- 120 wRC+
The question at the start of this season was which is the real Korey Lee
MLB Pipeline Scout ratings- Hit: 40 | Power: 55 | Run: 40
Prove it defensively
Lee was generally regarded as a good catcher with a great arm
Here is a disturbing stat from last year- 13 Passed Balls in 592 innings caught in AAA. This was second worst in the PCL. This needs to be better.
Throwing out runners- be at least average at it
MLB Pipeline Scout ratings- Arm: 70 | Field: 45
How is Korey Doing?
Succeed as a hitter.
Lee currently is hitting 0.316/0.357/0.456/0.813 which in the PCL is 95 wRC+
For a catcher this is good- average PCL Catcher 83 wRC+
As a hitter he is passing the test.
Prove it defensively- here are the 2022 numbers again and the 2023 numbers
Passed balls are generally at more than twice the rate of MLB in the PCL.
Lee has a passed ball rate that is 65% MORE than the PCL average.
Lee has more passed balls than any other catcher in the PCL
Passed Balls are an issue.
Lee is throwing out SB runners at 27% which is above the MLB average.
Passed Ball notes:
Korey Lee has not had a passed ball since 4/28.
In fact, all of his passed balls have come in 3 games (4/19- FOUR!, 4/27 two, and 4/28 one).
I am not sure what this means. It is weird.
Put it all together and there is only one reason to keep Lee in the minors. Lee needs to be a better receiver of the ball.
Tell me what you think.