This might seem like a no brainer when comparing Top 50 prospect Hak-Ju Lee to the fringy Logan Watkins, but wait. A few years ago, in the lower leve;s of the Cubs farm system, Logan Watkins and Hak Ju lee were considered similar prospects. In fact, I remember readin an article about them being close and helping eachother along or something. Then, Lee took off as a top prospects, leaving Watkins in his dust before being a key piece of the Garza trade.
2 years later, the two are on a similar path in terms of levels, the difference being that Lee, who's half a year older than Watkins has arrived at each half a year earlier. However, Watkins seems to be the better offensive player. This is not taking defense into account, but in his first full year in AA, Lee has a line of .269/.338/.361/.699 and a career line of .289/.361/.384/.744. Watkins AA slash line, in his first taste of the level has a line of .283/.371/.397/.768, and a career of .286/.369/.380/.749. His BA and OBP remain consistant, however, his slugging has increased.
While defense is always a big factor, and I don't know much about that of Watkins, Watkins has simply been the better hitter. At least he's been the more consistant hitter. Lee was at first befroe tapering off. I remember last year, Watkins had a dismal start before going on a hot streak which brought his numbers up.
Any idea of the ceilings of these two? It's easy to try and compare Watkins to Ryan Theriot, but Watkins already has 10 home runs in his 4+ minor league season, whereas Theriot had 5 throughout his 5+ year minor league career. Maybe a left handed Jeff Baker is a decent comparison. That might not seem like much, but when we see teams giveing multi year deals to guys like Aaron Miles and Clint Barmes over the past few years, that does have value.
As for Lee, who knows. They're still waiting for his bat to take off. Could be that he ends up an Omar Vizquel type, but he too could also be destined for a utility role.