Mets Did Well Getting Khalil Lee

The biggest issue with the New York Mets system has been Major League ready outfield talent. The Mets might’ve just gotten that by inserting themselves into the Andrew Benintendi trade.

By parting with the newly acquired John Winchowski and a player to be named later, the Mets acquired CF Khalil Lee from the Kansas City Royals.

Lee, 22, has all of the tools to be a very good player at the Major League level. He’s got tremendous speed stealing 53 bases in Double-A. He’s got real raw power, and he’s got a very strong arm.

While Lee should have the speed for center, the general consensus is he’s a better fit in right. As far as the Mets are concerned, they can push Lee in center for two reasons.

First, Mallex Smith shouldn’t stand in his way in Syracuse. Second, this is a team who is going with Brandon Nimmo in center. Put another way, they don’t seem to overly prioritize center field defense. Mostly, it’s better to find out if you can help him stick in center before moving him to the corner.

The biggest question for Lee is whether he has the approach and ability to make contact to get the most out of his talent. While he’s maintained a very good walk rate in his minor league career, his strikeout rate has been high leading towards a woeful 28.2% in 2019.

Now, it’s hard to find out what Lee did to address that during 2020. After all, there weren’t any games. We shouldn’t read too much in the Royals parting with him. After all, they just netted Benintendi.

Overall, the Mets got themselves a real prospect, and it’s now incumbent on them to develop Lee. If successful, they might’ve gotten a future star. If not, they got a future bench piece who can develop into more.

Whatever the trajectory, the Mets now have to work to get Lee to reach his full potential. Obviously, that’s much easier said than done.

Keep in mind, the Mets needed prospects like this. They needed a near Major League ready outfielder. That’s Lee.

We don’t know where Lee goes from here, but we do know he’s more talented than what the Mets already had. Far more. They got a player who might help this year and be a starter in the next year.

Regardless of the outcome, the Mets got a real talent. That’s a great get for them. Now, it’s time for them to get Lee to the majors.