July was a rough month for Khalil Lee, but those struggles are behind him in August.
The Royals' No. 2 prospect recorded his first four-hit game, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, in Class A Lexington's 14-3 rout of Asheville on Friday night. Lee also matched a career high with five RBIs, set April 28 against Hagerstown.
Gameday box score
"He's got tremendous talent. One thing that I give him credit for is that he comes here every day, works hard and tries to get better," Legends hitting coach Jesus Azuaje told the Lexington Herald-Leader in June. "He's always listening, he's always asking questions, after every at-bat he always talks to me about his approach."
Batting third, Lee was hit by a pitch from right-hander Erick Julio (5-11) to load the bases with none out in the first inning. He scored three batters later when Royals No. 18 prospect Meibrys Viloria drove a bases-clearing double to right as the Legends opened a 6-0 lead.
In the second, the 19-year-old outfielder doubled to center to drive in Vance Vizcaino and make it 7-0. The Newark, Delaware, native hit his team-high 15th homer of the season in the fourth -- a two-run shot to right-center that traveled 430 feet -- that scored Vizcaino, who drew a leadoff walk.
Lee flied out to left against right-hander Austin Moore to end the fifth, but in the seventh, the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder ripped the first pitch from Moore to center for a double that plated Vizcaino and stretched the Legends' lead to 11-0.
Kansas City's 2016 third-round pick wrapped up his night with a single in the eighth off righty Salvador Justo that scored Angelo Castellano and gave Lexington a 14-2 edge.
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After hitting .157/.290/.241 in July and posting a .531 OPS, the worst monthly mark of his career, Lee has come out strong in August by batting .340/.429/.623 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games. That's boosted his overall batting line up to .244/.348/.480, and his .788 OPS is at its highest level since July 22.
"He's up-and-down, he's only 19 years old, but he's got so much better and he's going to be -- for me, in the future -- he's going to be a Major League player," Azuaje told the newspaper.
Lexington set a season high with 22 hits. Villoria notched four hits and drove in four, while Castellano also collected four hits and scored twice. Vizcaino had three singles and scored four times.
Ofreidy Gomez (6-11) gave up seven hits and fanned three over seven scoreless innings for the Legends.