The Amazing Story Of Brooks & Larry Lee

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — One of the greatest thrills for a baseball coach is to teach his son the finer points of the game.

Cal Poly Head Coach Larry Lee is living out that dream with son Brooks, one of the elite shortstops in college baseball who is expected to be a high first round pick in the MLB Draft this year.

Last season as a freshmen with the Mustangs, he put up incredible numbers. He was named a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and also was National Co-Freshman Player of The Year and a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

He hit .342 with 27 doubles, 10 homers and 57 RBI.

Then during the past summer, he hit .405 for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League — the first player in 19 years to hit over .400 in a league comprised of college baseball’s elite players as he collected 6 home runs, 4 doubles and 13 RBI in 21 games.

His dad Larry, entering his 20th year at the helm of Cal Poly, is one of the elite coaches in college baseball.

In 19 seasons with the Mustangs, Lee has produced 48 first-team All-Big West players, 10 All-Americans and eight freshman All-Americans. A total of 77 Cal Poly players coached by Lee have signed professional baseball contracts, including 75 in the last 17 years.

“At a young age, I was surrounded by the game,” said Brooks.

“That’s how it has always been and still is. The majority of my time as a young boy was with older players on the field at Cal Poly. Learning the game at a really young age is what helped me blossom into a draft prospect.

“I always drove with my dad early in the morning to camps at Cal Poly and also went with him to recruit and travel to Area Code Game tryouts and then at Long Beach. I always had a great place to practice at Baggett Stadium.

“The vast majority of my time out of school as a kid was spent in sports. I fell in love with the game of baseball, and I knew at a young age that this is what I wanted to do for as long as I could.”

Larry said that he began working with Brooks at the age of three.

“I gradually introduced the fundamentals of different skills in baseball to him,” said Lee.

“But above everything else, I never wanted to be overbearing. I wanted him to really enjoy learning, practicing and playing the game of baseball. You could tell at an early age that he loved the game of baseball.

“It was important to teach him a simple concept at an early age and then back off for a period of time.

“Then I would introduce another fundamental and back off. It has been a gradual process that is still going on.

“Brooks started looking at videotape of his hitting mechanics at the age of five which allowed him to break down his swing as we watched together.

“I have video of Brooks when he was two years old with a big ole Wiffle ball bat,” laughed Larry.

“When we started looking at video together, he understood what he was looking at very quickly. At a young age, he would watch our practices at Cal Poly and yell out of the dugout if somebody had improper throwing mechanics from the infield or tell me what type swing someone had in a batting practice setting.

“The game within a game came later when he was 14 years old as his baseball IQ started kicking in.

“The mental side of his game took much longer than the physical side of it.

“What Brooks is today is an accumulation of a lot of different experiences and days around the baseball field.

“He was taught the game at a young age with Wiffle balls and tennis balls as he learned to hit so he could totally focus on the swing and not worry about hitting a baseball at the end of the bat and sting his fingers.

“We tried a lot of things. I remember at the age of six being at one of our Cal Poly camps and Brooks being two years younger than the next age group. It has been like that his whole life.

“When he was in eighth grade, he used to intersquad with our baseball team at Cal Poly because we would always be short one middle infielder.

“For one team, he would play shortstop, and for the other team, he would play second base. So he got accustomed to the speed of college baseball before he even got in high school.

“Then I would pick and choose to give him an at-bat here and there against a pitcher I knew wouldn’t hit him but still throwing 88-90 mph. Even as young as he was, Brooks wasn’t scared to hit against pitchers who threw that hard.

“He experienced things other kids his age wouldn’t get an opportunity to learn until years later.”

To read more of this story, purchase the Feb. 11, 2022 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. It explains how he learned to be an elite shortstop and was a Gold Glove finalist last season and the special vision he has which is similar to what Ted Williams had and much more.