Underrated Tigers' prospect gets tabbed for first All-Star Futures Game appearance

Detroit Tigers infielder Hao-Yu Lee runs out of the batter's box after hitting the ball for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League on November 1, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona.
Detroit Tigers infielder Hao-Yu Lee runs out of the batter's box after hitting the ball for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League on November 1, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona. / Evan Petzold / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Tigers' trade of Michael Lorenzen to the Phillies last season for prospect Hao-Yu Lee continues to pay off. Lorenzen, now in Arlington with the Texas Rangers, has been having a pretty good year. However, it was right for the Tigers to trade him when they did, in the middle of a walk year after he'd put up some respectable numbers as a middle-rotation starter for Detroit.

The trade was Scott Harris' first as the Tigers' president of baseball operations, and Lee has been making it look like a smart one down in Double-A. Last we checked in on him, he was having an incredible June, hitting .418 with a 1.244 OPS, five homers, and 19 RBI through 16 games.

He hit a stumbling block and is 2-16 over his last four games, but his efforts for that June streak are being rewarded with a tap to be one of two Tigers representatives at the All-Star Futures Game, along with Detroit's No. 2 prospect Max Clark.

Hao-Yu Lee, Max Clark set to represent Tigers at MLB All-Star Futures Game

Despite the very recent dry spell at the plate, Lee is still hitting .295 with a .877 OPS on the season and could very well be angling for a promotion to Triple-A by the end of the season. He's also getting braver on the base paths despite not being highly graded for his running; he stole his 12th base of the season on Sunday after a single.

Clark is perhaps the better-known name to Tigers fans as the team's No. 1 pick in last year's draft, but Lee has been outperforming him by far this season, and he's been doing it at a higher level of play. The last Tigers prospect to be the Futures Game's MVP was Nick Castellanos in 2012, and Lee is looking like Detroit's best shot at adding another name to that list.

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