Walker Jenkins and Brooks Lee Both Launch Rehab Assignments for Minnesota Twins

Brooks Lee, Minnesota Twins
Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball (@MLBPipeline - X)Credit: Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball (@MLBPipeline - X)

The Minnesota Twins organization has gone basically all season without either of their top prospects, (OF) Walker Jenkins or (IF) Brooks Lee physically able to compete at any level.

Walker, the 2023 No. 5 overall pick suffered a hamstring injury during the first game of the season. Lee, the 2022 No. 8 overall pick dealt with spring training back spasms that wound up actually being a herniated disc. But on Monday, we got news that both guys will be in the FCL Twins lineup to begin rehab assignments.

This is huge news for the Minnesota Twins organization, and the Walker Jenkins inclusion is somewhat of a surprise. Both players mean a lot to the future of this team and Brooks Lee could help them right away, once ready.

Walker Jenkins – The Minnesota Twins’ offensive future

Walker Jenkins is Minnesota’s unquestioned top prospect, and the 2023 draftee is entering his first full season of professional baseball. Posting a .989 OPS during his first 26 professional games last year, he made quick work of the Complex League and was promoted to Single-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.

The recent refresh of MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospect list has Jenkins within the top 10, and expectations for him this season are off the charts. After a strikeout in his first at bat, Jenkins injured his hamstring on a minor collision with the centerfield wall.

Looking to get his timing back, the 19-year-old physical freak will play a couple of games with the Complex League team (FCL Twins) before moving across the facility to join the Mighty Mussels.

It’s very plausible that Jenkins could advance past the Florida State League (single-A) and onto Cedar Rapids (double-A), at some point this summer. While it’s unlikely we see him in a big league uniform during the 2024 season, next year would be a real possibility, if he starts the season at double-A or higher

Unlike Jenkins, a recent high school graduate, the 23-year-old Brooks Lee has a couple of professional seasons already under his belt. The Twins have rushed him through the system, since drafting him less than two years ago, after he had already played three seasons of college ball at Cal Poly, before moving onto professional baseball.

Brooks Lee – The Minnesota Twins’ immediate reinforcement

Lee finished last summer at Triple-A St. Paul, after his first full summer of professional baseball, and he is already knocking on the door of a big league promotion. The timing of Lee’s injury this spring was especially unfortunate, given that both Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa were placed on the injured list shortly after him.

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No doubt, he would already have logged dozens of MLB games this season, had he been healthy. Once ready, Lee will join the Saints and be yet again just one call up away from his big league dream.

St. Paul is on the road in New York each of the next two weeks, but a strong start for the former first round pick could have him forcing Minnesota’s hand. Edouard Julien has struggled mightily out of the gate for Rocco Baldelli’s club, and Lewis has yet to return at the hot corner.

Assuming he is able to return healthy, there is no reason that Lee won’t make his major league debut this season, and he too is a prospect to get excited about.

Brooks Lee isn’t expected to hit for the power that Jenkins projects to, but his advanced approach at the plate should lead to a consistency that fans can rely on. He’ll always hit for a solid average, but don’t rule out his power, either, because Lee can certainly run into some homers as well. Commanding the zone and getting on base are near the top of his abilities, and he can field multiple positions on the dirt.

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It has been unfortunate that neither Jenkins or Lee have gotten the type of game experience during the first two months of this season that they and the Minnesota Twins organization was hoping they would. But there is plenty of runway left for them to make this a productive year.

Hopefully we can see Walker Jenkins push his way up the ladder, towards an eventual big league debut (probably next season). Meanwhile, let’s hope we get to see Brooks Lee dawn a Twins jersey for the first official time. If he’s right, Lee can help the Twins win immediately, especially while Royce Lewis is out of the lineup.

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