The Houston Astros called up catcher Korey Lee, their 2019 first round pick, on Friday, after placing fellow catcher Jason Castro on the injured list due to left knee discomfort.
Lee is ranked as the Astros number one overall position prospect. He received the news of his impending call-up on Thursday night when Sugar Land Space Cowboys manager Mickey Storey called him into his office after their game.
“[Storey] told me that I wasn’t going to catch today [Friday],” Lee said. “He goes, ‘I think you’re going to like this a little bit more. You’re actually going up to The Show.’ I completely lost it. It’s something that I won’t forget.”
At Sugar Land, the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, Lee has batted .226 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 64 games this season.
Although Lee said he wasn’t necessarily expecting the move since the Astros have two experienced catchers in Castro and Martin Maldonado, but said he is cherishing the moment now that he has finally reached his lifelong goal.
“It’s something you look forward to your entire life,” Lee said. “It’s pretty awesome to see these guys [in the clubhouse]. It’s a winning culture, and that’s what I want to be a part of. It’s something really special, and I won’t ever take that for granted.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said it will be important for Lee to make the most of this stint in the majors.
“He has to be ready to play and pay attention,” Baker said. “I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s a pretty good student. He has a great guy to learn from in (Maldonado).”
Baker also said he doesn’t have an exact idea on how long Castro will be out for. In a corresponding move to Castro going on the IL, the Astros shifted relief pitcher Blake Taylor from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL as he continues to deal with an elbow injury.
Lee made his debut Friday night in an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels, flying out to left in his first major league at bat.