Hechavarria prospect haul: Braxton Lee

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Jul 22, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 22, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Marlins have moved on from Adeiny Hechavarria. In a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, Miami has acquired prospect Braxton Lee.

The Miami Marlins were looking to trade Adeiny Hechavarria after he was made expendable while injured. JT Riddle has played well enough for the team to believe that he can hold the job permanently moving forward.

And so, they’ve brought two new players into their system. Restocking on pitching talent was the biggest concern. Injuries to top prospects and previous trading have depleted the farm considerably.

We’ve already looked at potential rotation starter Ethan Clark. Now let’s get a look at Braxton Lee, the other prospect the Rays shipped over.

Lee is further along his journey towards the Major Leagues. The team has decided to have him report to AA Jacksonville, the same level he was at in the Rays organization. He’s been very successful there so far this year.

Hitting from the left side of the plate, Lee puts the ball on the ground and beats the throw to first. He can fly around the bases at lighting fast speed and projects as a prototypical, table-setting leadoff hitter.

Due to his ability to cover a lot of ground in the outfield, Lee plays mostly in centerfield, though he has logged some time in right.  Through 66 games as a member of the Montgomery Biscuits, Lee slashed a .318/.387.391, and has amassed 102 total bases.

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His speed lends itself to stealing a lot of bases, but he relies on pure speed too often. Lee has already stolen 13 bases, but he’s also been caught stealing 10 times. He’ll need to bring his strikeout rate down and work the count better as well.

Where does Braxton Lee fit in?

It’s difficult to project when/where Lee will reach the Major Leagues. That’s assuming the ‘if’ question is a certainly. Which it’s not.

Lee possesses every raw physical tool you could possibly covet in a leadoff hitter. He’s fast, puts the bat on the ball, and is aggressive on the bases. But he lacks polish in the finer points of the game. He needs to learn how to work the count better, especially in the leadoff spot.

There’s also the matter of him being blocked at his position. If he continues to show year-to-year improvement the way he has since becoming a professional, he’ll be Major League ready soon. What would the Miami Marlins do with one of their cornerstone outfielders if they felt Lee was ready to hold down a spot full time?

Next: Hechavarria prospect haul: Ethan Clark

The Miami Marlins traded Adeiny Hechavarria to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. In exchange they returned two prospects, Ethan Clark, and Braxton Lee. While Clark is the starting pitching prospect they coveted, Lee is a slap-and-dash type leadoff hitter.

Both could see Major League playing time within the next two years or so, with Lee further along in his development as things stand.

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