Chip Scoggins
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Brooks Lee's foray into Major League Baseball has been quite impressive, and as if the start to his career hasn't been memorable enough, the Twins rookie third baseman got to face his best friend and college roommate on the mound in Chicago on Wednesday.

He took his buddy deep for a home run.

The good times will continue Friday night when, coincidentally, Lee's college — Cal Poly — is hosting an alumni event at the San Francisco Giants game against the Twins that is expected to draw 1,500 fans in Mustangs school colors who will give Lee a large and vocal cheering section as a visitor.

"Pretty cool," said Lee's dad, Larry, the head baseball coach at Cal Poly.

Those two words aptly describe Lee's first week in the bigs. Cool, as in fun and entertaining. But also cool, as in Lee looks completely unaffected by the big stage.

Everything about his approach screams that he belongs right where he is.

The only player in franchise history to collect more hits than Brooks' 11 through the first six games of his career was Kirby Puckett with 14 in 1984. He also has two home runs and has displayed smooth fielding.

"It's hard to think that someone could come to the big leagues and look more comfortable than he's looked," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Predicting how any player will handle the transition to the majors with any degree of certainty is nearly impossible, but Lee's career has always advanced ahead of the curve.

His dad has been a college coach for 41 years, the past 22 years at Cal Poly where he coached his son and White Sox starter Drew Thorpe, who joined his buddy Brooks in the 2022 draft. Lee was the No. 8 overall pick, Thorpe at No. 61.

Lee grew up immersed in his dad's program, initially as a bat boy. By eighth grade, he was playing in intrasquad games. Their family home had a barn that featured a batting cage. Dad and son spent countless hours in there.

Baseball is his dad's profession. Lee absorbed all that it offered him.

"He put more time into trying to become the best player that he could be than anybody I've ever had," Larry said. "He has a very elite baseball mind. He's his own best coach."

That trait proved helpful before his big league call-up. A back injury in spring training delayed the start of Lee's season. He used that rehab time in the minors to refine his hitting mechanics from the right side.

A switch hitter, Lee has always been more productive hitting left-handed. More opportunities, more comfort. He has worked diligently to duplicate his left-handed swing from the right side.

Without delving too deep on specifics, Larry said his son made a few mechanical adjustments over weeks before joining the Twins. Lee had three hits in his first five at-bats as a right-handed hitter after his promotion.

"For the first time ever, I said, 'All right, let's start mimicking your righthanded swing,' " his dad said.

Lee's parents arrived at Target Field just in time to see him single off Detroit lefty Joey Wentz from the right side in his second game. His parents spent the previous night in LAX after a delayed flight caused them to miss their connection on a red eye.

Larry flew to Chicago this week to watch his son and his son's best friend face each other.

Lee batted leadoff in Game 2 of the doubleheader and grounded out on the first pitch of the game. Thorpe struck him out in the second at-bat. Third time was a charm — Lee smoked a home run to right field.

"I'm hitting .333 off of him," Lee said, "so last time I checked, that's Hall of Fame numbers."

Friendly trash-talking aside, Lee called Thorpe a "brother to me" and said his dad was probably rooting for both equally.

"You just want to sit back and cry because we're so proud of each other," Lee said.

No doubt the roomies shared a laugh too when they talked about their first duel as big leaguers.

"You can tell he's having a blast at the major league level," Larry Lee said of his son.

He looks completely at home, too.