Freshman shortstop Brooks Lee will be out for the beginning of the Mustangs’ 2020 season as he recovers from a rare hamstring injury. Despite the setback, Lee said he is about two and a half months ahead of his rehab schedule and is expected to return to the lineup before the start of the Big West Conference season.

Lee’s injury occurred last October while running down the first base line, tearing his lateral collateral ligament and biceps femoris muscle. The specific injury has only been recorded 22 times since 1970, according to Lee.

“I was pretty scared,” Lee said. “I’ve been injured a lot lately. My sophomore year, I had a fracture in my spine, so I know a lot about injuries. That’s probably the worst thing that can happen on the field. But I’m thankful that I’m striving toward being healthy right now.”

Lee was a standout player at San Luis Obispo High School with a batting average of .437 over the course of his high school career. Lee recorded 122 hits with 28 doubles and struck out just 22 times out of 328 plate appearances. In his senior year as the Tigers’ shortstop, Lee hit .405 at the plate with 13 doubles, two home runs and 25 RBI. Following his junior season, the switch hitter was named Pac-8 Player of the Year and earned a first-team All-CIF-Southern Section Division 3 selection.

Lee was drafted to the San Francisco Giants in the 35th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. The selection came after Lee was ranked No. 41 among prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100. Prior to the MLB draft, Lee received invitations from the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks to attend tryouts.

However, Lee chose to honor his prior commitment to play under his father, head coach Larry Lee, at Cal Poly. He turned down $3 million offers in the process.

Lee goes to rehab three times a week for 2 1/2 hours and calls it “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” However, having the time to work on his mental and physical strength is something Lee said he is grateful for. 

“My development has been a huge part since I’ve been hurt,” Lee said. “I’ve gotten to lift my upper body almost everyday … I give as much effort that I have and do anything I can for our team. We have a ton of great ballplayers, and if I’m up there with them, it makes it that much better.” 

Even without him out on the field, Lee said he has a lot of faith in his team’s abilities as Cal Poly heads into the 2020 season.

“I think our team is going to do really well this year,” Lee said. “We have everything we need honestly.”

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