Khalil Lee is now with the New York Mets following an injury to Albert Almora which has landed him on the IL. Almora, who suffered an injury in a remarkable attempt to track down a fly ball on Tuesday, was already on the bubble of potentially losing his roster spot. Rarely used and not doing much at all while at the plate, his glove was the only thing saving him from a demotion.
The Mets will at least get to see what Lee can offer them in his place. However, even with Brandon Nimmo sidelined as well, we shouldn’t expect to see Lee get too much playing time. Nimmo is on his way back and this could signal a quick end to Lee’s time in the majors.
Fortunately, Lee might be able to do just enough to help his future. As a member of the 40-man roster, he’s one of the club’s top options to receive a promotion whenever the IL starts to get packed. In the limited amount of playing time we may get to see him have in this current stint, he can do a few things to help his case for later on in the season.
Khalil Lee can help his Mets roster spot by showing off his speed
In the last full season of his career, Lee was a Double-A playing who swiped 53 bases. The barrage of stolen bases at that level shows how dangerous he can be on the base paths.
We know the Mets don’t have much speed at all—in particular when it comes to stealing bases. If used probably, Lee has a chance to steal a few bases and become a future consideration for the team as a stolen base threat/pinch-runner later on. Of course, he may need to show off a few more skills. Speed kills but it’s only one aspect of the game.
An ability to get on base makes Khalil Lee a great option for the Mets bench
Lee owns a .368 OBP lifetime as a minor leaguer. An awesome attention to drawing walks, strikeouts have also been an issue at times. In 405 minor league games, he has 491 strikeouts.
The strikeouts are definitely a concern for me. At the trade of also drawing walks, perhaps we can overlook it at times.
Khalil Lee has to show he is at least serviceable as a fielder
I’ll admit openly that I don’t know much about minor league fielder’s abilities. Reviewing Lee’s numbers on the farm, he doesn’t look so great. He has a lifetime .969 fielding percentage (I think I just heard a stat geek faint at the mere reference of fielding percentage) and he has shifted to playing more right field in the last two seasons.
Nobody expects Lee to win a Gold Glove. To at least look serviceable out there, particularly in center field, could give him an opportunity to earn his keep on the Mets roster. Odds are against it. With likely few opportunities to do it at the big league level, Lee will need to excel in every opportunity he gets.
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Something to keep in mind, the expectation never was for Lee to see significant action this season anyway. He came to the Mets with zero Triple-A experience. A silver lining to takeaway, he is ahead of where he should be even if it is out of need.