Lee, Schebler make big strides toward Majors

Lee, Schebler make big strides toward Majors

Lee, Schebler make big strides toward Majors

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitching prospect Zach Lee wanted to crack the big league rotation this year but now has his sights set on 2014 after a strong season with Double-A Chattanooga.

Lee won 10 games and posted a 3.22 ERA in 28 appearances, issuing just 35 walks in 142 2/3 innings, and was third in the Southern League with 131 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP.

"This was the year I put it all together," said Lee, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com. "This was the year I felt I grew the most. It was an unbelievable year for me. I'm looking to build on it to get up here next year at some point."

A first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Lee thought he had a chance to be called up early in the season when the Dodgers' rotation was ravaged by injuries. But the right-hander remained in the Minors as the club instead promoted Stephen Fife from Triple-A and traded for veteran Ricky Nolasco.

"It just kind of never really took place," Lee said. "I was trying to put myself in a position to kind of force my way up here. They had some injuries early on that opened up some opportunities, and I just wasn't able to really do enough."

Lee and Class A outfielder Scott Schebler were at Dodger Stadium on Sunday to accept the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year awards.

Schebler led Rancho Cucamonga with a .296 batting average and was second in the California League with 27 home runs. The outfielder was the only Dodgers Minor Leaguer with at least 20 doubles, 10 triples and 20 homers this year. He was named to the California League's postseason All-Star team.

"I'm just trying to prove something and get my foot in the door," said Schebler, who was a 26th-round Draft pick in 2010.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.