Prospect Profile: Mike Lissman, OF

The Oakland A's selected 53 players in the 2007 amateur draft. However, the A's didn't stop gathering talent once the draft had ended. Oakland signed a handful of undrafted free agents, including one of the stars of this season's College World Series, Oregon State's Mike Lissman. We have a profile on Lissman inside.

Mike Lissman may not have had his name called during the June 2007 amateur draft, but he still had a June to remember. Lissman, a senior outfielder for Oregon State, was red-hot at the plate during the entire NCAA post-season. His bat helped deliver the Beavers' second consecutive College World Series title. Lissman had a number of big hits during the post-season, including a three-run homerun off of Cal-State Fullerton pitcher Wes Roemer, who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the 50th overall pick in the 2007 draft.

Those post-season heroics were a good ending to a solid senior season at OSU for Lissman. He hit .317 with 10 homers, 61 RBI and an 878 OPS in 67 games for the Beavers. The game total was a career-high for Lissman, who had an unusual collegiate career. As a freshman, Lissman burst onto the scene by hitting .349 with eight homers and a 997 OPS in 45 games. He forced his way into the starting line-up with his strong play and looked to be a rising collegiate star.

At the start of his sophomore season, Lissman was named co-captain of the Beavers. However, he slumped as a sophomore, and his average fell to .284 and his OPS was only 730. During his junior season, Lissman became a fourth outfielder for the Beavers. He had only 95 at-bats as a junior, and he batted .316 with a .411 OBP and a 779 OPS. Lissman's Beavers won the College World Series title during his junior season, the school's first-ever baseball national title.

Lissman went undrafted in 2006, and he returned to Oregon State in 2007 as one of five seniors on a team looking for a repeat championship. He wasn't handed a starting position at the start of the season, but Lissman got off to a fast start and wound up being one of the Beavers' top offensive players.

Despite his successful 2007 season, Lissman went undrafted in part because of his uneven collegiate track record offensively and in part because of some legal trouble he incurred this past year. The A's liked what they saw from his play during his senior season and after the College World Series was over, Oakland offered Lissman a minor league deal.

He joined the organization in July and was assigned to the A's Rookie League team in Arizona. Lissman got off to a slow start, batting only .246 with a 778 OPS in 69 July at-bats. He heated up dramatically in August, batting .350 with a .412 OBP and a 1045 OPS. He finished his pro debut season with a .295 BA, a .395 OBP and a 901 OPS.

The A's got a closer look at Lissman this fall at the Instructional League, where, according to Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, Lissman played well.

"He battled some injuries off and on but showed line-drive power with occasional power," Lieppman said. "He is an A's kind of player with great attitude and work ethic plus he knows the strike zone and is very disciplined. Good after-the-draft sign."

Lissman is a right-handed hitter and a left-handed thrower. He was strictly a corner outfielder in college and he profiles as a left-fielder long-term. He has a below average throwing arm and he has only average speed. Lissman generally makes all of the plays he should make, however.

Undrafted free agent signings have to defy long odds to make the major leagues. Lissman has gotten off to a good start with his strong performance with the A's Rookie League team. He could wind-up being a sleeper.

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