Image of    Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   MONTGOMERY
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  
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   28 150.2 177 97 54 27 0 0 0 7 13   5.38
2015 NL DODGERS   1 4.2 11 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.478 13.50
2015 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   1 5 4 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0   3.60
2015 AZL AZL-Dodgers   1 5 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2015 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   19 113.1 107 81 19 19 1 0 0 11 6   2.70
2016 PCL TACOMA   14 74.1 98 50 24 14 0 0 0 0 9   7.39
2016 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   13 73.2 95 57 15 13 0 0 0 7 5   4.89
2017 NL PADRES   3 8 8 6 8 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.25 5.63
2017 PCL EL PASO   16 67 89 43 34 14 0 0 0 2 5   7.12
2018 IL DURHAM   1 6 7 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   6.00
2018 SL MONTGOMERY   12 69 66 55 17 12 1 1 0 8 1   2.22
  • 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. But in the offseason before 2015 spring camps opened, Zach dropped out of the Top 5 for the first time -- all the way down to 13th-best prospect in the Dodgers organization. And he was at #15 in the spring of 2016.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Zach was named the Dodgers' 2015 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year. This was Lee's second consecutive honor after ranking among the Pacific Coast League leaders with 11 wins, a 2.70 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. 

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

  • February 11, 2016: If Lee's professional baseball career doesn't pan out how he hopes it will, there's a good chance he would trade the diamond for the gridiron. A two-sport star athlete at McKinney High School in north Texas, Lee had a scholarship offer to play quarterback at LSU, and planned to attend the SEC powerhouse and continue playing baseball there as well.

    In the event that the former star quarterback does not get his chance to be a major-league pitcher in the near future, there is a chance he could drop his professional baseball career and pursue a collegiate football career.

    "I wouldn't say it's completely left the station," Lee told MLB.com of the prospect of him going to college to play football. (Robert Pace - Fox Sports - Feb. 11, 2016)

  • Zach began the 2016 season at Triple-A, for the 3rd straight year.

    “Sometimes you’d like it to be faster,” Lee said. “But in life in general you can’t always speed things up. You have to kind of take your opportunities as they come, and so far I feel that I am in a good spot this year to be able to make an impact.”


  • June 19, 2016: The Dodgers traded Lee to the Mariners foe SS Chris Taylor.

  • Dec 13, 2016: The Padres claimed Lee off waivers from the Mariners.

  • August 15, 2017: ThePadres released Zach.
  • 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, and rates a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He also has a true 73-76 mph 1-to-7 slow CURVEBALL with promising spin and depth, and a very good 81-84 mph CHANGEUP (a 60 grade) 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 solid weapon.

    "I don’t think he has one wipeout pitch that might wow you,” said first-year Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after seeing Lee in the spring, 2016. “But when his command is good and he’s down in the zone and working the cutter, changeup and sinker and changing eye levels with his fastball up, there’s some things he can do. When Zach’s right, he gets major league hitters out.”

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Lee has enough maturity and mound presence to be able to use any pitch in his arsenal with confidence. He knows how to sequence pitches very well and won't let a hitter find a comfort zone in the batter's box. He isn't afraid to use any of his pitches at any point in the count, changing the eye level of the hitter and keeping the hitter guessing, In short, Lee is continuing to master the art and nuances of pitching rather than just throwing.

    Using command and control that are beyond his age, Zach is generally around the fringes of the plate. He knows the importance of throwing strike one and getting ahead in the count.

    Early in his career, Lee's delivery was slowed a bit as the Dodgers staff tweaked his overall pitching mechanics. The results have been very favorable. He looks comfortable on the mound, while showing no signs of being overly aggressive or trying to overpower the hitter. He repeats his delivery very well and stays in charge of the at-bat.

    Lee's future will likely be as a mid-rotation starter with an ability to give his club a chance to win when he's on the mound. While he might not have the ability of an ace, he does have the grit and pitching savvy to go deep in games. Lee should be the type of pitcher to rack up lots of quality starts, lasting six innings or more. (Pleskoff - mlb.com - 4/29/14)

  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was impressed with what he saw of Lee during 2014 spring training.

    "I think what we like about Zach is that he’s kind of always in control. He does everything well. He’s a guy that is going to get better as he goes because he’s a guy who locates, changes speeds.”

  • But during the 2014 regular season, Lee's stuff just was not sharp. He only lost about 2 mph on his fastball. He had trouble missing barrels because his secondary pitches regressed. So his strikeout rate was down.

    Zach never really had a true wipeout pitch, but his slider and changeup were fringe-average (45 grade) pitches instead of both being the 60 or flashing 65 like they were pre-2014.

  • 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.
  • June 4-July 1, 2015: Lee was on the D.L. with tingling in his pitching fingers.

  • May 5-June 9, 2017: Zach was on the DL.

  • June 4, 2018: Lee was on the DL.
Last Updated 6/18/2018. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.