BRADENTON, Fla. — Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has had his first chance to get an extended look at the the organization’s top prospect, Brooks Lee, this spring. He likes what he’s seen.
“He had what I would call a near-perfect camp because nothing’s ever perfect, but he did everything and showed us everything that we would be hoping to see from him,” Baldelli said.
The 22-year-old shortstop was reassigned to minor league camp on Saturday. Forest Lake slugger Matt Wallner, who spent the last few weeks of the 2022 season with the Twins, was optioned to Triple-A as the team trimmed down the number of players left in major league camp.
Lee, the youngest player invited to major league camp, finished his stint with the big-league team 7 for 37 (.189) while manning shortstop. He went 1 for 4 on Saturday with an RBI single in his last at-bat in the Twins’ 7-4 loss to the Pirates at LECOM Park.
He will now head to minor league camp, where Baldelli said he will continue to focus on “developing himself into a major league-caliber, quality shortstop.”
“You don’t invite players to come here unless you think you have the right person to come here,” Baldelli added. “He’s the right person.”
The eighth pick in the 2022 draft, Lee advanced through the lower-levels of the Twins’ system quickly, jumping to Double-A Wichita by the end of last season. In 31 minor league games split between three different levels, Lee hit .303 with a .839 OPS. It appears likely he will begin his season once again at Double-A.
“Just being with major leaguers, that’s all that matters,” Lee said of his takeaways from big league camp. “I just want to feel comfortable and feel like I’m at home, and that’s how I feel right now. I’m just excited at some point to get up there and reconnect with a lot of these guys.”
With a glut of left-handed hitting corner outfielders on the roster, Wallner, the organization’s No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline, returns to Triple-A after ending the season last year with the Twins. Wallner, who played in 18 games for the Twins last September and October, is likely to find himself back in the majors at some point this season.
Trevor Larnach went 2 for 3 with a home run in Saturday’s game against the Pirates. … Byron Buxton went 3 for 3 with a double and a walk in a minor league game in Fort Myers. Alex Kirilloff played four innings in that game at first base, going 0 for 2. … Saturday’s game ended on a pitch clock violation on Twins catcher David Bañuelos, which resulted in a strikeout.