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Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft
Brooks Lee has hit his way to the top of the MLB Draft at Cal Poly. (Courtesy: @BrooksLee22/Instagram)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (BVM) — Entering the 2019 MLB Draft, Brooks Lee was seen as a first-round talent. He had just finished his senior year at San Luis Obispo High School with a .405 average and only nine strikeouts all season.

But for Lee, he cared more about the long run rather than the short-term fame.

The day prior to the draft, Lee told all 30 MLB teams his intention to play at local Cal Poly due to his strong relationship with the coach: his father Larry. 

“It was based on the fact that in three years, I thought I’d be better off as a professional baseball player versus being drafted out of high school,” Lee said. “That’s with everything. With life, being mature and how to live on my own. Just the things that come with being in college.”

Three years down the line, it looks like the biggest decision of Lee’s life has paid off in a big way.

The switch-hitting shortstop is now the No. 5 prospect in the 2022 draft according to MLB.com and is very much in the running to be selected No. 1 by the Baltimore Orioles.

“Once I made the decision to not sign, that was kind of my plan,” Lee said. “I’d go and play my freshman year and have a good year. Try to be an All-American. Strive to play for Team USA and in the Cape Cod League. Then for the following year, back it up and just keep going from there.”

Lee’s first year of college was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he was still able to impress that summer in the Northwoods League where he hit .345 with 35 RBIs.

When he returned to Cal Poly for the 2021 season, he was ready for the opportunity. Lee hit .342 with an on-base clip of .384 while slugging .626. He was selected as a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes award. 

He was even more impressive in Cape Cod following the season. Lee hit .405 that summer, becoming the first player in 19 years to hit over .400 in the tournament.

He finished out his final year with Cal Poly strong, hitting .357 with 55 RBIs this past season. But outside of spending the past 3 years boosting his draft stock, Lee has also been able to create unforgettable memories while playing for his father.

“Going to play for him was such a special opportunity,” Lee said. “It’s something I knew I would have a lot of fun doing. It’s just a very emotional connection we have for each other.”

But for Lee, he not only played for his dad at Cal Poly, he played for his hometown, San Luis Obispo.

“There’s a lot of people that have known my family for a long time,” Lee said. “They come to games, so it’s a lot different than just having one person there to see you. It’s all about putting on for my community and being a role model for kids that are growing up in the same exact shoes that I was in.”

In a couple of years as Lee strives to get to the MLB, those same kids will be the first ones in line to buy his big league jersey.

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