Royals

Royals select versatile high schooler Khalil Lee with third-round pick

The selection process continued for Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff on Friday as the club picked up a third-round pitcher/outfielder named Khalil Lee.
The selection process continued for Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff on Friday as the club picked up a third-round pitcher/outfielder named Khalil Lee. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

The MLB Draft tracker lists Khalil Lee, the Royals’ third-round selection, as a center fielder. But the 5-10 left-hander from The Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va., has been picking up buzz lately as a pitcher.

Lee, selected Virginia’s Gatorade player of the year, went 7-0 with two saves with a 0.33 ERA. His season included a five-inning perfect game in which he struck out 13. Lee’s fastball is clocked in the low 90s.

At the plate, Lee hit .471 with six home runs.

“We like him as a pitcher and a outfielder,” said Lonnie Goldberg, the Royals’ director of scouting. “We got to the point where we thought he was the best athlete on the board. It’s arre to find a pl;ayer with those pluses at both positions.”

Lee, who had signed to play at Liberty University, was the second player drafted by the Royals, who were without a first-round selection as compensation for signing pitcher Ian Kennedy as a free agent.

The Royals picked right handed pitcher A.J. Puckett in the second round, No. 67 overall. Lee was the No. 103 overall selection of the draft.

Pitching remained a theme for the Royals in the fourth round when they took Texas A&M junior Jace Vines, a 6-3, 215-pound right-hander who is 6-1 with a 4.87 ERA as the Aggies prepare to play host to TCU in the NCAA super regional.

For the rest of the draft, which concludes Saturday with rounds 11-40, the Royals will have the 27th selection in each round. They finished with the American League’s best record in 2015. Selecting after them in each round are the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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