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Draft Duo: Two Mustangs Among the Top Prospects Headed to the Major Leagues

Two action shots of Cal Poly baseball players in uniform with a bat and throwing a ball
Written By Gabby Ferreira and Robyn Tanner

Brooks Lee, third-year shortstop and third-generation Mustang, became Cal Poly's highest draft pick ever when he was selected 8th overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2022 Major League Draft.

According to Cal Poly Athletics, only three other Cal Poly baseball players have been drafted in the first round.

Lee wasn't the only Mustang to shine during the draft. Pitcher Drew Thorpe was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round as the 61st pick overall. It's the first time Cal Poly has had player picked in the first two rounds of a single draft.

Both Lee and Thorpe were expected to perform well in the draft after stellar seasons in 2022. Thorpe held a 10-1 record and set a school record with 149 strikeouts. Lee, a five-time All American and a switch hitter, posted a .357 batting average and conference-leading stats in hits, doubles, home runs, slugging percentage and total bases. 

This wasn't Lee's first experience being drafted. Lee was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants after graduating high school, but he turned it down to fulfill his commitment to play at Cal Poly with his father, Coach Larry Lee.

In March, Lee told Cal Poly Magazine that his family traditions — which began with his grandfather Tom Lee, who coached four sports at Cal Poly — set him on a path toward athletic success. Brooks is the latest in a long line of switch hitters who wear the jersey number 22 and who are dedicated to the game of baseball.

Coach Larry Lee and Brooks Lee wearing Cal Poly uniforms walk on a baseball field
Coach Larry Lee has mentored Brooks Lee from his first swings to the MLB Draft. At Cal Poly, they both wore the number 22.

Lee said his first memory of baseball was taking batting practice with his dad in the backyard, then watching his movements on video to make improvements. At the time, young Brooks didn’t comprehend all of Coach Lee’s direction. But decades later, Brooks still prepares for each game by analyzing film on opposing pitchers and perfecting his own form.

“In all of my years of coaching, I’ve never had a player who understands how his body works within the game as much as he does,” said Coach Lee in the midst of their last season as player and coach. “I’m just trying to enjoy every moment we have together on the field.”

“I’ve loved the game of baseball for my whole life and whether or not I liked it, I was probably gonna play it with the family that I grew up in,” Brooks Lee said at the time. “I know that everywhere I play, I’m representing Cal Poly and representing the city of San Luis Obispo — and then the best part is representing the three letters of my last name.”

UPDATE: Two more Mustang baseball players entered the major leagues, according to Pitcher Jason Franks, an eighth-round choice of the Atlanta Braves, signed for $2,500 in July. Derek True, a pitcher, was also drafted in the final found by the Oakland Athletics.

To read more about the Lee family legacy — and the other Mustangs currently involved in the Major Leagues — read the spring issue of Cal Poly Magazine.

Images of Coach Larry Lee and Brooks Lee by Joe Johnston. Image of Drew Thorpe courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics.

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