Can Brooks Lee Contribute to the Twins’ Wild Card Push?

The Minnesota Twins called up top prospect Brooks Lee for his MLB debut on Wednesday. Will he stick in the majors down the stretch?

Brooks Lee of the Minnesota Twins looks on during his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 03: Brooks Lee #72 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers on July 3, 2024 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Brooks Lee made a strong first impression in his MLB debut.

Just Baseball’s No. 45 overall prospect went 2-for-4 with an RBI. His first big league hit was a line-drive single to center field, earning the rookie a warm ovation from the Target Field crowd. Although the Minnesota Twins suffered a 9-2 loss at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, Lee’s impressive performance was the silver lining to a disappointing game.

Lee clearly enjoyed himself, grinning from ear to ear as he took in the feeling of his first base hit. His joy was infectious.

The young infielder is a highly-regarded prospect and an important part of the Twins’ future. However, his role for the rest of the 2024 season is difficult to predict. Lee was promoted to replace an injured Royce Lewis on the active roster. But, Minnesota has a crowded infield. When Lewis returns, it’s hard to say if there will still be a spot for Lee.

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Unless he keeps hitting like he did last night. In that case, the Twins would be fools to send him down.

From First-Round Pick to the MLB Roster

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 17: A view of the draft board and stage as Brooks Lee is selected as the eighth pick overall for the Minnesota Twins during the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft at L.A. Live on Sunday, July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Twins drafted Lee with the eighth overall pick in 2022. With a plus-plus hit tool and a capable glove at shortstop, he quickly became a top prospect. He currently ranks No. 3 in the Twins’ system, trailing only a pair of top-10 overall prospects: Walker Jenkins (No. 5 overall) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (No. 10).

Lee’s prospect stock has only risen in 2024. A back injury delayed the start of his season – and possibly prevented him from making the Opening Day roster – but the 23-year-old slashed .329/.394/.635 (159 wRC+) with eight doubles and seven home runs in 20 games for the Triple-A St. Paul Saints before his call-up.

One could argue that Lee still needs a little more seasoning at Triple-A; he hit just .237/.304/.428 (78 wRC+) in 38 games for the Saints last season. At the same time, he certainly looked ready for a promotion this year. He reached base safely in 17 of 20 Triple-A games, embarrassing pitchers across the International League with his blend of power and contact skills.

Still, Lee will need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s ready for this opportunity in order to stick with the Twins after Lewis returns.

Every Win Counts in Minnesota

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 29: The Minnesota Twins celebrate their team win over the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 29, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. The Twins defeated the White Sox 3-2. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

The Twins are embroiled in a close race for a postseason berth.

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The Guardians are running away with the AL Central. Barring a huge comeback (or a Cleveland collapse), that means the Twins are left competing for a Wild Card. They have held onto a spot for most of the season, but the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox are right on their tails. What’s more, the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays are starting to catch up after slow starts.

The Seattle Mariners could also wind up in the Wild Card race if the Astros overtake them in the AL West.

Presuming the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles take the top AL Wild Card spot, five other teams will fight for the final two playoff positions.

Thus, every win counts for the Twins this year. So, if Brooks Lee plays well, the team will find a way to keep him around. That said, the bar is high. He’s really going to have to hit to force the issue. The Twins have been one of the best offensive teams in the AL this year, with few weak spots throughout the lineup.

The Twins Have a Crowded Infield

Lee’s natural position is shortstop, but Platinum Glove winner Carlos Correa has that job on lock.

If Lee is hitting well when Lewis returns to play third, manager Rocco Baldelli could move Lee over to second base, pushing Willi Castro into a more regular outfield role and taking playing time away from struggling outfield bats Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler.

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However, the Twins have enough talent and depth on the big league roster that they won’t waste time sending Lee back to Triple-A if he shows any signs of weakness against big league pitching.

Brooks Lee has a chance to contribute to the Twins’ Wild Card push, but he’s going to have to continue to earn it.

For more on Just Baseball’s No. 45 overall prospect, here is what Aram Leighton had to say about Brooks Lee on our latest Top 100 Prospects list:

45. Brooks Lee – SS – Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: S/R | 1st Round (8) – 2022 (MIN) | ETA: 2024


Viewed by many as the safest bat in the 2022 draft class, the switch-hitting Lee has flown through the minor league ranks on the back of his plus-plus hit tool.


When you watch Lee hit, it is easy to understand how he was so consistent through his three collegiate seasons at Cal Poly where he slashed .351/.426/.647. Lee’s swing from the left side is as pretty as they come; it’s short, quick and repeatable with sneaky pull-side power. He also has a great feel for the barrel with the ability to get to tough pitches or shoot the ball through a hole when he is fooled.

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His right-handed swing is more mechanical and less fluid, but he still makes a fair amount of contact. Fortunately, the majority of his at-bats will come from the left side.

Lee has average power to his pull side and will pick his spots to try to do damage. While his average exit velocities are average, he has flashed a max of 109 MPH.

With a zone contact rate just shy of 90% and an overall contact rate of 79%, Lee is rarely going to punch out and will work a fair amount of free passes. He has the tendency to get very contact-oriented, hitting more balls into the ground than desired and perhaps taking a few too many “B” swings in early or even counts, but he has improved in that regard as he has become acclimated to pro ball.

Lee is a high-probability big leaguer with the ability to hit for a high average with plenty of doubles. If he can push closer to 20 home runs instead of 10, that would of course elevate his ceiling, but Lee will likely land somewhere in the middle.


Fundamentally sound and instinctual, Lee is a consistent defender at shortstop. The added strength/weight has slowed Lee down a tick, giving him fringy range. He has a good arm and can make all of the throws as well as smooth actions, however, he is likely to be closer to an average defender at the position. Though he should be able to play a good enough shortstop to stick, he profiles as an above-average third baseman as well.


Viewed as a high-level draft prospect dating back to his high school days, Lee elected to play for his father at Cal Poly where he raked for three seasons as well as on the Cape. It’s been more of the same for him in pro ball, solidifying what is one of the higher floors and stronger track records in the Minor Leagues. Lee may lack the tools to be a superstar, but he has a great chance of being an above-average big leaguer.

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