In the 2010 Draft, the Dodgers took a risk by throwing millions at Zach Lee to lure him away from a football scholarship at LSU.
This summer, the right-hander made good on rewarding the club for its faith. On Friday, the Dodgers rewarded their No. 3 prospect with the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.
Lee, ranked 56th on MLB.com's list of Top 100 Prospects, spent the entire season with Double-A Chattanooga and went 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 28 appearances (25 starts). He struck out 131 over 142 2/3 innings, walking 35 while limiting opponents to a .247 batting average and 13 homers.
The McKinney, Texas, native made his Southern league last year and compiled a 4.25 ERA in 13 starts. He improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 2.32 in 2012 to 3.74 this season, thanks mostly to a walks-per-nine-innings rate that fell from 3.02 to 2.21.
Lee was named a Southern League midseason All-Star by posting a 2.98 first-half ERA. While that figure jumped to 3.77 after the All-Star break, he improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 4.44 in second-half outings. He ended up 10th in the circuit in ERA and tied for third in strikeouts and WHIP (1.17)
Outfielder Scott Schebler, who batted .296 with 27 homers, 69 extra-base hits, 91 RBIs and a .941 OPS at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, was named the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year. He and Lee will be honored before Sunday's game against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.