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Saturday, November 13, 2021

Lee May Jr. worked to make hitters better after own eight-season pro career; Made AAA

Lee May Jr.'s Lake County Captains weren't hitting in this early May 2006 stretch and he and his staff worked to find out why, The Willoughby News-Herald wrote.

"We’re breaking down swings and at-bats with computers and all the new-age gizmos, but none of that means a damn if our guys don't go out and stick to the game plan, wait for good pitches to hit, square up and make good swings," May told The News-Herald.

May had some help in breaking down those swings from his own experience as a coach and as a player. He also had help from his experience as the son of former major leaguer Lee May Sr.

Lee May Jr.'s own playing career saw him play over eight seasons. He made AAA in two of his campaigns, but he never made the majors.

May's career began in 1986, taken by the Mets 21st overall out of Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati.

May chose the Mets that year over a commitment to play at Oklahoma State. In weighing whether to turn pro, May recalled to The Oklahoman how he often called his father for baseball advice, but that the two were different players.

"We're not alike," May told The Oklahoman. "We don't even swing the same. He had a shorter swing and hit for more power."

May started with the Mets at rookie Kingsport. He hit .188 over 52 games. He then returned there for another 60 games in 1987 and hit .229.

He played 1988 at short-season Little Falls, then moved to single-A Columbia and short-season Pittsfield for 1989. He hit .213 over that 1989 campaign.

May then played 1990 at high-A St. Lucie. That June, he recounted to Florida Today how his early career struggles led to him being sent to work with a hitting guru in Alabama mid-season 1989.

"It was my first year of trying to switch-hit," May told Florida Today. "And I was really struggling. The Mets have stuck with me."

May made AA Williamsport and AAA Tidewater in 1991. He hit .257 over 29 games at Tidewater. He then saw 87 more games at Tidewater in 1992 and hit .213. He returned with the Royals for 14 final games in 1993 at AA Memphis to end his career.

May soon took up coaching. He served as hitting coach at Columbia in 1999, then hitting coach at rookie Burlington in 2004. He made AA Akron in 2007 and then AAA Columbus in 2010. Most recently, May served as hitting coach at AA Portland in 2019.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,781
Made the Majors:1,276-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,505-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:525
10+ Seasons in the Minors:313

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