Dodgers 2015 Player Review: Zach Lee
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

No player more embodies the disappointment of the previous Los Angeles Dodgers’ regime more than Zach Lee. The former high-end prospect, and one of the few sources of hope as of five years ago, Lee has been a disappointment over past two seasons.

The good news? He’s only 24 and on a team who has no reason to rush his development any time soon. The bad news? If he doesn’t turn it around soon, his future might lie with another franchise.

2015 Highlight

Lee had a productive season with Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2015, making 19 starts and posting an 11-6 record with a 2.70 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his second year pitching in that level.

The concerning part to that, however, was his declining strikeout rate.

After recording 131 strikeouts in 142 innings in 2013, Lee has since posted a combined 178 punchouts in 263 innings pitched.

With all of the injuries to the Dodgers starting rotation last season, a window of opportunity opened for Lee.

He made his Major-League debut against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 25. He encountered a bit of bad luck and allowed seven runs on 11 hits while striking out three and walking one in 4.2 innings.

2016 Outlook

Honestly, this section is a mystery for Lee. One thing we do know is that he won’t be in the Dodgers starting rotation come Opening Day, barring a rash of injuries.

But what happens beyond that? Does the organization convert him into a reliever? Do they trade him? Leave him in the Minors?

At this point, it’s unlikely that Lee has a miraculous turnaround and becomes the front-end starter many envisioned he would become (although, again, he’s only 24 years old).

Lee’s fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90’s, and he has a starter’s selection of pitches that include a slider, curveball and change. At the very least it makes him an intriguing option for the bullpen.

That said, with all the trade activity the front office was a part of last December, Lee could be an appealing trade piece for a team who believes they can reclaim his promise.