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Tampa Bay Rays’ Top 5 Prospects of 2011- How They Worked Out

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 7: Pitcher Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays gestures as he speaks with teammates in the dugout during the fifth inning of a game against the New York Mets on August 7, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 7: Pitcher Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays gestures as he speaks with teammates in the dugout during the fifth inning of a game against the New York Mets on August 7, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Hak-Ju Lee, Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

2. Hak-Ju Lee

Major League Career: N/A

Major League rWAR: N/A

Hak-Ju Lee was acquired in a trade that sent Matt Garza, Fernando Perez, and Jason Bartlett from the Rays to the Cubs in exchange for Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, and Hak-Ju Lee.

Lee is the only one of the players the Cubs sent over that never played a game in the major leagues.

He played outstanding defense at shortstop and while he didn’t bring much power, he showed an ability to get on base and use his speed wisely.

Between 2010 and 2014, Hak-Ju Lee was consistently rated inside the top 100 prospects by the top publications.

During the 2013 season, things began clicking for Lee as he was off to a blazing start in Triple-A with a .422 average and had eleven walks in his first 57 PAs, good for a .536 OBP.

Attempting to turn a double play, Lee suffered torn knee ligaments and was out for the season.

Lee returned in 2014 at the age of 23, but he just couldn’t find success. In 2014 he hit .203 and in 2015 he hit .220.

Lee would play forty-seven games for the Giants Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento in 2016 before leaving American baseball for good.

He played last season in Korea where he slashed .262/.332/.369 and had 15 steals.

Conclusion

Lee was a part of a great trade for the Rays and at points, it looked like he might end up being one of the most valuable pieces they got in return for Matt Garza. Unfortunately, Lee was never able to achieve the success the prognosticators thought he would. As is the case in many instances, he wasn’t the same player following the injury.

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