Top 10 Minor League 1st Half Stories: #7

Now that the Minor League full-season teams have reached the halfway point of their respective seasons, takes a look at the Top-10 performances of the first half. In our #7 selection, we look at the month of May that Erik Lis put together, when he batted a robust .376 over a 26 games span.

After a standout career at Evansville University, the Twins selected Erik Lis in the ninth round of the 2005 draft. After exploding onto the scene during his freshman year at EU, Lis would go on to be named a Baseball America Summer All-American going into his junior season, and when he left EU, he absolutely re-wrote their record books. Already a seasoned hitter when he enter the Twins' farm system last year, Lis had an incredible first season of pro ball while playing for the Elizabethton Twins, and now is the main bat in the Beloit lineup.

A sweet-swinging lefty, Lis was the big stick in the Elizabethton lineup last season. In only 49 games, Lis blasted ten home runs, and drove in 41. Overall, he batted at a 3.15 clip during his first year with the Twins, and some felt he could have helped out at the full-season level during the end of the season. Still, Lis was a part of an Elizabethton team that won the Appalachian League title, and he finished the year as the team's best batter, and was second on the team in home runs.

This season, Lis is finally getting his shot at full-season ball, and he is completely tearing up Midwest League pitching. After batting .308 during April, Lis took his game to a completely higher level, batting a robust .376 in the month of May. During that time, he became the league leader in batting average (.335), doubles (20), and slugging percentage (.581), while terrorizing the opposition.

For his efforts, not only was he named Midwest League Player of the Week during the month, but he was named May Batter of the Month for Beloit. He also impressed so much that it basically ensure him a spot on the Midwest League All-Star Team, where he joined eight of his fellow Snapper teammates. His stats for the month of May were almost ridiculous, as he almost single handedly led the offense.

For the month, Lis appeared in 26 games, stroking 35 hits in the process. He also scored 17 times, drove in 17 runs, and blasted a monthly-high three home runs. Of his 35 hits, 14 of them went for extra-bases, as he smacked an amazing 11 doubles throughout the month. Batting mostly from the cleanup spot, Lis remained hot as most of his other teammates got cold, and especially when it was noticeable that Henry Sanchez was not ready for full-season ball.

This month, Lis is batting .296 in 24 games, and has posted multi-hit games in his last four outings. For the season, he is batting .327 in 69 games, making him the third best hitter in the Midwest League. He is also second in doubles (26), third in extra-base hits (36) and on-base percentage (.410), and fourth in slugging (.532). If he continues to hit like this, it is only a matter of time before a promotion is in order.

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