Liriano, Lis Take Home Monthly Honors

Francisco Liriano and Erik Lis were named Twins Minor League Players of the Month for July, taking home the honors after putting together terrific months. Liriano, who is widely considered the best prospect in the organization, went 4-1 for Rochester in five starts. Lis, who was drafted in the ninth round of this year's Amateur Draft, shook of a horrible start and batted .407 this month. Here is an indepth look at the two prospects:

Rochester's Francisco Liriano and Elizabethton's Erik Lis were named Twins' Minor League Players of the Month for July. Liriano is considered the number one prospect in the Twins organization, while Lis is just beginning to make a name for himself. Both players were more than deserving of the honor.

Liriano, who was promoted to Triple-A Rochester in June, and has been the most dominant pitcher in the entire International League. Named the starting pitcher for the World Team in the Future's Game, Liriano continued to make his push for Minnesota in July.

In five starts, the southpaw went 4-1, posting an impressive 1.03 ERA. He threw 35 innings, allowing only 18 hits, and holding opponents to a .151 batting average.

The award comes on the heels of being named Twins' Minor League Player of the Week, and International Pitcher of the Week. Liriano, who turns 22 on October 26, also struck out 37 batters while walking ten.

On the season, Liriano is 5-1 with the Red Wings, and has an ERA of 1.83. In his eight starts, he has struck out 60 batters in 54 innings of work, and has allowed only 27 hits in 199 batters faced. It is only a matter of time before he makes it to the big leagues.

Erik Lis, who was drafted in the ninth round of this season's Amateur Draft, has turned his entire season around. After batting .192 in seven June games, the slugging first baseman batted .407 in July, and smacked four home runs.

A product of Evansville University, Lis is showing the stroke that made him the only player in school history to finish his career in the top ten in home runs, batting average, and RBI. By season's end, Lis could be playing for the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League.

His July stats were very impressive. Aside from his .407 average and four home runs, Lis also drove in 21 runs in 18 games. Of his 24 total hits, 12 of them went for extra-bases, and he also scored 11 runs.

On the season, Lis is batting .323 in 28 games, and has five home runs to go along with 28 RBI. Doing most of his damage from the fifth spot in the order, Lis is stroking the ball from both sides of the plate. A lefty swinger, Erik is batting .353 against left-handers this season, a sign that he may be ready for the next level of Minor League ball.

Email Brad Weiss at TwinCitiesDugout@aol.com


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