A .149/.276/.189 slash line from Khalil Lee in his first 87 plate appearances for the Syracuse Mets was apparently enough to make a change. A top ten New York Mets prospect at the beginning of the year, Lee’s performance was alarmingly poor after his strong finish to the 2021 season in Triple-A. The Mets are sending him from Triple-A down to Single-A.
Lee had a chance to see some big league action with the Mets last season only to go 1 for 18 and strike out 13 times. Strikeouts have always been a major weakness of his as a professional. In 2017, he fanned 171 times in 532 trips to the plate for the Kansas City Royals’ Single-A club.
Regular Ks have continued throughout his career, fanning 115 times last year with Syracuse in 388 opportunities. However, he did still slash an impressive .274/.451/.500 which gave some optimism for him in 2022.
Khalil Lee is dropping fast on the top Mets prospect lists
Lee is hardly the only Mets prospect of note to have some struggles this year. The three at Binghamton—Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Ronny Mauricio—each came in hot and cooled off. Baty and Mauricio have managed to begun to put up better numbers, however.
The same cannot be said for Alvarez who at one point was ripping extra-base hits and doing so with an average well over .300. As of May 13, he is batting .213 and stuck with only four home runs.
One level higher, Mark Vientos was cold until this week he decided it was time to prepare for any future Home Run Derbys he may be invited to.
Those four fellow prospects have yet to taste major league action while Lee is already on the 40-man roster with a handful of big league games on his resume. The demotion is certainly unusual with him skipping over Double-A and going straight to Single-A. This could simply have something to do with the shape of the different minor league rosters and more opportunities for Lee to play often in Single-A without disrupting anyone in Binghamton.
Whatever the reasoning, it’s not a piece of good news for Lee and his future with the Mets. Acquired last season and viewed as a potential outfield option for them—even just off the bench—it’s looking like those hopes may fade.