Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Twins Minor League Reports
Q&A with Erik Lis
Beloit Snappers First Baseman
2004 Twins 9th Round Draft Pick
Good morning to everyone!
Before I get started, I want to wish Peter Gammons well. If there is one name with baseball reporting that stands above all others in my mind, it is Peter Gammons. I have been watching him on ESPN for years, reading his stuff in Baseball America and other places for even longer. He has always been a trusted source of what is going on in baseball. Yesterday morning, Gammons suffered a brain aneurysm at his Cape Cod home. He was flown to Boston where he had surgery. The last I heard, he was alright and resting in ICU. He is just 61 years old and has so much love for the game and for reporting about baseball's players. You can totally see his enthusiasm whenever he speaks. I am sure I am not alone in hoping for a quick recovery for Mr. Gammons!
The primary focus of today's blog entry is another Q&A with a Twins minor league player. If you would like to see what other Twins prospects and more I have had Q&As with, please be sure to look at the end of this Q&A. Today, I need to thank Erik Lis, a first baseman for the Beloit Snappers, for taking the time to answer some questions for us! I really hope that you all enjoy the Q&As.
Erik Lis was drafted by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Evansville. He signed quickly and hit .315/.356/.577 with 12 doubles, ten homers and 41 RBI in 168 at bats. He got off to a red-hot start this spring as well. In April, I ranked him as the #3 Twins minor league hitter. He hit .284/.361/.554 with eight doubles, four homers and 12 RBI. In May, he was my #2 choice for hitter of the month, but he was the Twins organization's choice for player of the month. He hit .376/.473/.591 with 11 doubles, three homers and 17 RBI. Now, he has cooled off somewhat in the month of June, but overall, he is hitting .317/.403/.508 with 24 doubles, eight homers and 38 RBI. In 288 plate appearances, he has 36 walks and 50 strikeouts.
I think that Lis is really being held back. A college hitter who has done as much as Lis has offensively in the Midwest League should be promoted to Ft. Myers. I realize that Brock Peterson is there, but Lis could still get at bats playing 1B and in the outfield. Defensively, he probably has a lot of work, but he can do that work on the way up the organizational ladder. Now that 4th round pick Whit Robbins has signed and will be going to Beloit, there is even less reason for Lis to remain with the Snappers.
I'm sure you don't want to read any more background. Check out his minor league numbers and other information here. Let's just get to the Q&A! Thank you to Erik Lis for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope that you will enjoy it too. If you have any comments for me or Mr. Lis, please e-mail me, and I will try to answer your questions or forward them on to him and see if we can get you an answer.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Growing up in Illinois, who was your favorite team, and who were some of your favorite players growing up?
Erik Lis: White Sox, Frank Thomas, Carlton Fisk
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about your high school career. Where you drafted out of high school?
Erik Lis: All-State Jr and Sr years. Not drafted out of high school.
SethSpeaks: The Twins took you in the 9th round last summer. Had you talked to the Twins' scouts much, and where were you expecting to be drafted?
Erik Lis: Yes, Billy Milos who helped me out a lot. I was hoping to be drafted earlier, but I was still happy to be drafted.
SethSpeaks: Do you intend to finish college? If you weren't playing pro baseball, what would your career of choice be?
Erik Lis: Yes. I would teach and coach.
SethSpeaks: Who were some of the coaches or people that have helped you get to this point in your career?
Erik Lis: My High School coach Brain Wusuik
SethSpeaks: How would you describe yourself as a player. What are your strengths, and what areas would you say you most have to improve upon?
Erik Lis: Hard Working. I have always been a good hitter, I need to work on plate discipline.
SethSpeaks: What was the adjustment to pro baseball like for you? I would think that adjustment to wood bats would be a big thing?
Erik Lis: It was hard at first, but when I was playing everyday it got easier.
SethSpeaks: You have played some in the outfield this season. Had you played other positions in the past, and what is that adjustment like?
Erik Lis: I have always played just those two positions.
SethSpeaks: What is the best part, so far, about a career in baseball?
Erik Lis: Playing a game that I love.
SethSpeaks: What is the most difficult part of life in baseball?
Erik Lis: Everyday play.
SethSpeaks: Favorite baseball movie?
Erik Lis: The Natural
SethSpeaks: What are your goals for the rest of the 2006 season?
Erik Lis: Be consistent.
SethSpeaks: What do you think it will be like to put on a big league uniform in a regular season for the first time?
Erik Lis: It would be the best thing ever in my life.
Erik, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Do you have any thoughts or questions for Erik Lis or me? If so, please feel free to e-mail me.
If you would like to read any previous Q&A's, here is a checklist:
I didn't watch all of the games over the weekend, but did note a few things. I am sure there are others, so please feel free to e-mail me or leave some Comments below.
Wow! Apparently I need to be careful when saying anything negative about Joe Mauer. Actually, I was just being sarcastic two days ago when I noted how Mauer had hit about .240 over his previous six games to drop his average from .384 to .367. Well, on Monday night he was 4-5 with five RBI. Last night, he had a career-high five hits on a 5-5 day! His average is now sitting at .389! He is just such an amazing all-around hitter!
By the way, I understand Gardy's concern about losing the DH, but it is inexcusable that Joe Mauer was not pinch-run for in the bottom of the 8th after his fifth hit of the game. There was no reason to keep him in the game. A pinch runner could have come into the game and Mauer could have jogged off the field to a standing ovation. Mike Redmond could have come in for three outs. The game was over for all intents and purposes. Gardy can say that he would worry about Redmond getting hurt and not having another catcher. However, there is just as good a chance that Mauer gets hurt running the bases! This may seem like a minor thing, and it probably is, but I can't help but think that was a poor non-decision. If Torii Hunter and his .265 batting average can be removed for the last few innings, there is no reason that Mauer can't sit one inning.
Francisco Liriano was incredible again. He gave up two solo home runs, but really, each of those came after the game was out of reach. It is at those times that he should just be throwing strikes and should there be a solo home run, it is alright. Seven innings. Two runs. Five hits. Zero walks. Eight strikeouts. 86 pitches. 63 strikes. That's an incredible 73% strikes thrown. That is six straight quality starts. Liriano is setting himself up for an All-Star game appearance and a Rookie of the Year candidacy. But it may not stop there, he and Johan Santana could battle it out for the AL Cy Young Award too!
Brett Tomko was put on the Disabled List by the Dodgers, so Santana and the Twins will face Odalis Perez in today's noon game.
Nick Punto again had two hits in the game. His defense is also solid. No, I still don't believe he is the long-term answer, however, he is doing well right now.
My idea for a long-term replacement at 3B? I am no longer convinced that Matt Moses is the answer. Well, the Twins have done all of this damage without Shannon Stewart, right? How about a deal of Stewart and a mid-level prospect to the Dodgers in exchange for 3B Willy Aybar? Or, with the Dodgers pitching issues, maybe we could do a Kyle Lohse for Aybar deal!? A guy can hope, or dream, right?
the slow start that Johan Santana got off to this season?
Well, here is how he ranks against other AL pitchers in some of the
more important pitching categories:
- His 2.75 ERA is #1 in the AL,
- His 115 strikeouts in #1 in the AL,
- 0.98 WHIP is #1 in the AL,
- His 111.1 innings pitched ranks just one inning behind Mike Mussina,
- His .223 batting average against is 3rd, behind John Lackey and Jose Contreras,
In other words, he really is having an incredible season.
I'm not an apologist for Paul DePodesta or anyone who is considered a Moneyball GM. However, how much of the talent and youth that is helping the Dodgers succeed in 2006 is because of DePodesta?
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Dodgers, or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Thomas Cowgill, GCL Twins
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Luis Carreras, GCL Twins
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Tuesday - Red Wings 11, Indianapolis 6 – The Red Wings scored five runs in the top of the 9th to take the win. Chris Heintz went 3-5 with his 10th double. Shawn Wooten was 3-4 with his 11th double. Kevin West went 2-4 with a walk and his third home run. Jason Tyner was 2-4 with his 11th double and two RBI. Mike Smith started and gave up five runs on ten hits and a walk in five innings. Bobby Korecky went the next 1.2 innings and gave up one run. Pat Neshek came in and got the blown save. However, he went 2.2 innings. He was not charged with a run and struck out two to improve to 6-2 on the year.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats 3, Portland 7 – Kevin Slowey made his much-anticipated AA Debut last night, and it probably didn't go along with the script, but it was a good first start. Slowey went 6.1 innings and gave up six runs (4 earned) on eight hits. He struck out four and, of course, walked none. Julio DePaula went the next 1.2 innings without allowing a run. Levale Speigner gave up a run in his inning. Danny Matienzo and Jose Morales each went 2-4 with a double. Denard Span was 2-5.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 3, Dunedin 4 - Jay Sawatski was demoted from New Britain with Slowey's promotion and moved into the starting rotation. He has not started since his college days. He went three innings and gave up only an unearned run on three hits and a walk. Ryan Callahan went the next three innings and gave up three runs. JP Martinez struck out three in his two shutout innings. Brock Peterson went 2-4 with his ninth home run. Trevor Plouffe was batting third and went 0-2 with two walks.
Tuesday - Snappers 5, Kane County 4 – Drew Thompson, Paul Kelly and Erik Lis, the Snappers 2, 3 and 4 hitters, each went 2-4 and combined for four RBI. Dwayne White went 2-3 with a walk and a double. Adam Hawes got the win. He gave up four runs on ten hits in 5.1 innings. He walked two and struck out three. Danny Vais went 2.2 innings of shutout ball. Frank Mata struck out two in his inning of work for his third save.
Tuesday - E-Twins/Bluefield – Doubleheader Rained Out.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Tuesday - GCL Twins 3, GCL Reds 2 (10) – Thomas Cowgill went 2-3 with two walks and a game-winning 10th inning home run. Rodolpho Palacios went 2-4. David Winfree got into a game and went 1-4 while playing 3B. Loek Van Mill started and in 4.2 innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out four. Luis Carreras went 4.1 shutout innings and struck out six. Carlos Garcia got the win with a shutout 10th inning.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!|
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