Lee Hao Yu is the Phuture Phillies’ Readers’ #20 Pick.
Lee Hao Yu was born in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The Phillies signed Lee as an eighteen-year-old international free agent in June of 2021.
Lee built up quite a reputation on Taiwan’s national teams. It was difficult finding high school stats, but here are a few of his accomplishments –
- member of the WBSC under -12, -15, and -18 national teams since 2015
- set a Taiwanese high school HR record with 6 HRs in 10 games (with a wood bat)
- went 3-3 leading team in a win over host Korea in the 2019 WBC
- 2017 hit a first inning 3-run HR to lead Taiwan to a 12-1 rout over a PA team in the Junior League World Series (an international tournament for ages 13-15)
2021: Lee made his professional debut in the Florida Complex League on August 31st. He played in 9 games and a 6-9 stretch over his final 4 appearances inflated his average to .364. Lee had 25 plate appearances. He slashed .364/.440/.773/1.213 with 9 runs scored, 5 RBI, and 5 XBH among his 9 hits (2 doubles, 2 triples, and a HR). He drew 3 walks and struck out 5 times.
I saw Lee a lot during the FCL season, XST, and Instructs. I was very impressed but kept it under my hat. I didn’t want to hype a teenager on a small sample. The first thing I noticed was that he’s built a little more solidly than his Latin American counterparts, a thicker upper body it seems. I’ve seen the video of Lee’s powerful swing, but in person, I’ve noticed a little of that bailout that Asian hitters sometimes have. That swing belies his actual power. During XST and Instructs he was more aggressive on the bases than during the FCL season where he had zero steal attempts. He doesn’t seem particularly fast, but he picks his spots well. Defensively, I saw him at second base a lot. He was as flawless during XST and Instructs as he was error-free during the FCL season.
I’m looking forward to seeing Lee in Clearwater this season.