LEE, ZACH  
 
Image of    Nickname:   N/A Position:   P
Home: N/A Team:   ALBUQUERQUE
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   R
Weight: 195 Throws:   R
DOB: 9/13/1991 Agent: Alan and Randy Hendricks
Birth City: Plano, TX Draft: Dodgers #1-2010 out of McKinney (TX) HS
Uniform #: N/A  
 
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2010 - signed late                            
2011 MWL GREAT LAKES   24 109 101 91 32 24 0 0 0 9 6 0.236 3.47
2012 SL CHATTANOOGA   13 65.2 69 51 22 13 0 0 0 4 3   4.25
2012 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   12 55.1 60 52 10 12 0 0 0 2 3   4.55
2013 SL CHATTANOOGA   28 142.2 132 131 35 25 1 1 0 10 10   3.22
2014 PCL ALBUQUERQUE   3 16.2 10 9 4 3 0 0 0 2 0   1.62
PERSONAL:

  • Lee's senior year at McKinney (Texas) High School in 2010, he committed to a combination football (quarterback) and baseball scholarship to LSU.

    Zach was one of the best high school quarterbacks, throwing 31 touchdown passes as a senior and passing for 2,565 yards. His top wide receiver was current Braves prospect Matt Lipka. And on the mound, Lee won 11 games with a 2.15 ERA and 90 strikeouts.
  • The Dodgers made Zach their first round pick in the June, 2010 draft -- the 28th overall player chosen.

    And Lee finally signed on the August 16 deadline, for $5.25 million spread over five years, more than double the largest draft bonus in Dodgers franchise history. That was so they could keep Zach from being LSU's quarterback. He signed with scout Calvin Jones.

  • You can tell a lot about a megabucks Draft pick by the car he buys with his bonus.

    So here's a little insight into the level head of Zach Lee, the right-handed pitcher the Dodgers broke the bank for in 2010 with a franchise-record $5.25 million.

    "Buy a new car? No point," Lee said during 2011 Spring Training. "I have a car, an '05 Chevy Malibu, that works perfectly fine. Buy a new car, it goes down in value $10,000 the minute you buy it. I have no need for a new car."

  • The Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Lee as the 2nd-best prospect in the Dodgers organization in the spring of 2011. Then, they moved Zach up to #1 in the spring of 2012.

    After a not-great 2012 season, the book had Lee at 5th-best in the Dodgers farm system in the winter before 2013 spring training. And he was at #4 in the spring of 2014.

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  • Zach has off-the-charts makeup. He works very hard at the game. He is mature, intelligent and has leadership qualities.

    "I think over the years my work ethic helped me get to the point where I'm at," Lee said. "That comes from my parents, they work really hard to provide for us. We weren't poor, but we weren't high class either. Middle class, paycheck to paycheck. The money now gives us a little bit of security. I'm kind of frugal with my money. I took care of my family to make sure they're set and live happy."

    An exceptional student at his Texas high school (26th in his senior class of 404) who still plans on earning his college degree, Lee said he's essentially a "self-taught" pitcher.

  • "My dad sells electronics components for Sanyo, my mom is a receptionist at my old high school. Neither had any connection to baseball," he said. "They aren't huge fans of baseball, they're more football fans. I played T-ball when I was young. They put me into sports more to get me out of the house." (Ken Gurnick-MLB.com-4/05/11)

  • In April, 2011, the Dodgers were not amused by a blogger's April Fools' Day post which reported that top draft pick Zach Lee had decided to quit baseball and return to Louisiana State to play quarterback. A week later, the Dodgers had the last laugh, when Lee threw four shutout innings in his professional debut with low Class A Great Lakes.

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  • The Dodgers named Lee as their 2013 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year award winner. Zach was third in the Southern League with 131 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP, and he issued just 35 walks in 142 2/3 innings.

  • After the 2013 season, Zach earned his keep in McKinney, Texas just outside of Dallas, helping his mom and dad remodel the family bathroom.

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    PITCHING:

    • Lee has a 90-95 mph 4-seam FASTBALL with good life and an 88-92 mph sinking 2-seamer with good depth. He has a good 86-90 mph CUTTER, a tight 81-85 mph SLIDER as his go-to secondary pitch that gets in on the hands of lefty batters, a true 73-76 mph 1-to-7 slow CURVEBALL with promising spin and depth, and a very good 81-84 mph CHANGEUP that he can throw even when behind in the count.

      Zach is willing to work backwards in certain situations. He is a pitcher's pitcher.
    • Zach has impressive command and a good feel for pitching, changing speeds effectively. He spots his fastball on either side of the plate. He also has an advanced feel for manipulating the ball to make it do what he wants against certain hitters. He can make his fastball sink, or turn it into a cutter that has developed into a true weapon.

    • He has solid mound presence, is intelligent and is a solid competitor. His poise and leadership earn praise. He pitches with a cerebral side that is very unusual in a young pitcher. He knows how to read swing and attacks hitter based on their strengths and weaknesses. (Spring, 2014)

      "He reminds me a little of Josh Beckett without quite the same power," said Lansing manager Mike Redmond, who caught Beckett with the Marlins. "The stuff is going to be there as he gets stronger." (September, 2011)

    • The ball comes out of his hand easily. He has a very good, smooth, easy to repeat delivery -- an easy arm action like John Smoltz had. He has the rare ability to manipulate the ball. His delivery has no real flaws. He has consistent mechanics.

      In 2013, with the Chattanooga Lookouts, pitching coaches worked with Lee to lower his arm slot.

    • Lee has excellent pitchability and command of his stuff. And he handles the mental part of the game very well. He controls games well and does not get frustrated when things don't go his way. Location and execution of pitches is what Zach focuses on.

      "From the shoulders up, very, very good," Great Lakes manager John Shoemaker said during the 2011 season. "He's a smart individual. He knows what he wants. It's all new but so far he's adapted very well and I would really be surprised if he wasn't able to adapt to a lot of situations as his career progresses. He's very, very confident. He has a professional look when he goes to the mound."

    • Zach battles well under pressure. He attacks hitters and competes well. He throws a lot of strikes and takes an analytical approach to pitching.
    • A good athlete, repeating his delivery with simple mechanics. His changeup is continuing to develop. Using the entire plate, Lee throws strikes and has good command and control. (3/16/14)

     
     
    CAREER INJURY REPORT:

    • May, 2011: Lee missed three weeks with elbow tightness caused by tendinitis.
    • January 2014: Zach suffered a lat strain during a Dodgers development camp for young pitchers.
     
     
    Last Updated 4/21/2014. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.