When I was predicting the Opening Day roster, I wasn’t very kind to Dylan Lee. In all my predictions, I only included him on the OD squad once, and that was when the Braves dropped the news on Raisel Iglesias. I had my excuse ready: He has options and AA will use it to give others without options a chance to stick. But deep down, my subconscious was telling me my real thoughts:

He’s just not that good.

Well, I’m ready to admit I was wrong.

The Career of Dylan Lee

Lee was drafted in the 10th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Miami Marlins and in his first few years, was tested out as a starting pitcher, but was unsuccessful. In 2018 and 2019, Lee converted to full time relief and found success pitching in 120.2 innings with low 2’s ERA across 3 levels of the Minors. Unfortunately, Lee did not make the Marlins roster in 2020, the year of COVID ball, but good news came for Lee in 2021, but it didn’t start out that way.

At the end of the Marlins 2021 ST camp, Lee was informed that he had been released, but the Braves saw an opportunity, and signed Lee to an MiLB deal.

His 2021 numbers at AAA were great: 1.54 ERA in 46.2 innings and an INSANE 9 K/BB rate.The success didn’t translate in his 2 inning MLB stint as he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits. However, it’s really not fair to judge him based on that criteria and I’m glad Anthopoulos agreed.

2022, Lee was still shuffled between AAA and the MLB, but most of his time was in the bigs putting up stellar numbers. He ended 2022 with a 2.13 ERA in 50.2 MLB innings with a 1.8 BB/9 rate to go along with a 10.5 K rate.

Lee is back at it in 2023, already logging innings in 9 games and putting up the same stellar results: 1.9 BB/9, 9.6 K/9, 0.536 WHIP. His stuff isn’t overpowering. There’s no crazy movement in any of his pitches. But he locates likely better than any bullpen arm on the team, and that is the secret sauce that should keep him around for many years. Oh…and he isn’t arb-eligible until 2025, so if AA wants him around, he’ll be here and be here for quite a while.

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