High School Sports

High School Sports

Lions’ Minnis drafted in 33rd round of MLB draft

Next step for LHS pitcher still unknown

Lawrence High pitcher Albert Minnis was selected in the 2010 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Minnis said he will take until late summer to decide whether to join the professional team or attend Wichita State on a baseball scholarship.

June 9, 2010, 12:28 p.m. Updated June 10, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


For Lawrence High standout pitcher Albert Minnis, getting drafted was the easy part.

The process of plotting out his immediate future likely will take a bit more work.

Minnis was selected in the 33rd round of Wednesday’s major-league baseball first-year player draft by the Atlanta Braves, but the senior left-hander said he won’t know until late this summer whether he’ll sign with the club or attend Wichita State University, with whom he signed a national letter of intent in November.

“It’s just kind of a wait-and-see situation right now,” Minnis said before Wednesday’s Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches All-Star showcase. “I’d love to go play baseball at Wichita State, but then again, if the money’s right, I’ll take it and do what I can.”

On Wednesday, Minnis admitted that he’d hoped to go higher in the draft, but spoke highly of the Braves organization and seemed encouraged by the prospect of what’s described as a “draft-and-follow,” in which scouts from an organization draft a player and then evaluate him throughout the ensuing summer months before tendering an offer.

“We’re going to have to see how the summer plays out,” Minnis said. “They’re going to come and watch me some more and determine how much I’m worth, and if their offer matches up with what I’m thinking money-wise, then we’ll go. But if we don’t meet somewhere in the middle, I guess I’m going to end up going to Wichita.”

While not as dominating statistically as he was during a first-team Class 6A all-state season as a junior in 2009, Minnis, who transferred to LHS from Missouri’s Park Hill High midway through his high school career, certainly maintained his status as one of the state’s top players.

In 51 innings, he struck out 82 batters, threw five complete games and finished with a 5-3 record and 1.92 earned-run average to earn second-team all-state and first-team All-Sunflower League honors.

“His numbers might not have been as striking as they were his junior year, but he had a nice year and set the bar pretty high for himself,” said Lions coach Brad Stoll, whose team came within a game of qualifying for the 2010 Class 6A state tournament. “(Getting drafted) is a proud moment for a great kid.”

It also provides the player with a pair of attractive options.

One the one hand, Minnis has the opportunity to join an organization he grew up watching play on TBS, one that has produced some of the top pitchers of the past two decades (“[Tom] Glavine and [Greg] Maddux and [John] Smoltz; the list goes on and on,” Minnis said).

On the other, Wichita State has been one of the country’s strongest programs in recent years, annually churning out major-league draftees, including three this season.

“It’s obviously a win-win situation,” Minnis said. “I’m just really excited either way. I’m working with one of the best pitching clubs in America, (or), if I go to college, I’m working with one of the best pitching coaches in America.

“So it’s definitely a win-win,” he added. “I’m just enjoying the situation I’m in right now.”

The 2010 draft proved fruitful for a number of local players.

In addition to Minnis, former Free State standout Robby Price, a member of the Kansas University team, was taken in the 13th round Tuesday, and former Firebirds teammate and fellow Jayhawk Travis Blankenship was drafted in the 31st round by the Houston Astros. Lawrence High product and current KU outfielder Brian Heere was selected in the 41st round by the Cleveland Indians.

“There’s been a lot of talk about how it’s a baseball town,” Stoll said of Lawrence. “Both high schools have a lot of good players, and obviously (KU baseball coach Ritch Price) has done a remarkable job at the university. I think there’s a lot of excitement about baseball in the city, and that just speaks to the level of commitment that the players and people in the city put into it.”


dagger 7 years, 11 months ago

If you compare his draft spot with the 5 K.U. players that got drafted I'd say he did pretty darn good. I'd say he did pretty darn good regardless. What does Kukuk have to do with Albert? Way to go Albert!

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

Stoll played the best players available to him this year. What hurt Albert was getting pounded by BVN in the Rivercity Festival with scouts from 25 different teams in attendance.

Kukuk is going to be in a similar position support wise next year, though he will have two additional quality pitchers to help out. This year's JR class at FSHS is quite poor after Cody and Toalson. They will have to provide some leadership and rely on this year's SOPH and FR class to provide some solid support.

Good luck at WSU Albert. You'd be wise to head to school after this draft season.

CHEEZIT 7 years, 11 months ago

What about Tim Lewis? A stud Jr with a left handed bat and could have pitched but Hill wasn't smart enough to try him??? Except for the dingers he was just as good as Kukuk with the bat! Stoll didn't play the best players. He played for next year!

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry Mr. Lewis I'm not sure what fantasy land you're living in thinking Tim = Cody.

Also, it's laughable to say Stoll didn't play his best players. That may have happened at points during the season because of discipline or injury reasons, but his best players just happened to be younger for the most part.

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

Tim Lewis is a good player, but he is not "just as good as Kukuk with the bat!". To defend that statement is to show your ignorance of the game.

As for LHS, you're arguing out of both sides of your mouth. If Stoll was playing for the future, he would have played Sutliif (a Sophomore) instead of Kilmer (a Senior). Hell, I could make a case that I'm wrong and he didn't play the best players because I can look at the JV roster and see players that could have/should have beaten out some of the Seniors on the roster. Of course THAT would be playing for the future. It just happens that Albert this year, like Cody next year, won't have a strong supporting cast around him.

You have some strong opinions, you just don't have the argument to support those opinions.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 11 months ago

Number_1_Dork_Poster_Grandma, you continue to win the prize as the most ignorant poster on this site. Brad Stoll has forgotten more about baseball than you'll ever know, and did the best he could with what he had - and especially with what he didn't have. As I've suggested previously, please confine your ridiculous helicopter grandparent comments to what you think you know about your adopted school north of 15th.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 11 months ago

N1DPG, your uninformed analysis completely misstates what went on with LHS baseball in 2010. Because you don't know what you're talking about, you completely fail to mention what the team lacked in the way of personnel at one key position. Brad Stoll won a State Championship in 2009. Have you ever coached a high school team to a State Championship? Lawrence is blessed to have coaches of the caliber of Brad Stoll and Mike Hill coaching our high school kids. Again, please do yourself a favor: Refrain from commenting on LHS and stick with softball north of 15th, where you have apparently been a helicopter grandparent for some time.

cheerio 7 years, 11 months ago

Grandma - Get off Stoll's back. He's a good man and coach that cares about Lawrence and the kids he coaches. He's a good teacher of the game, which has nothing to do with his own abilities as a player. He brought a state championship to LHS and the kids love playing for him.

dougmarshall 7 years, 11 months ago


We can only assume you've been waiting 12 months since the 09 title to start ripping LHS and Coach Stoll. You actually kept your mouth shut for quit a while. You should have stayed with that strategy. As for Stoll's playing days, he has publicly admitted to being a horrible player. I agree with cato, Coach Stoll knows the game. If we follow your logic, Michael Jordan would be the best basketball coach in the world (not even close), Mickey Mantle the greatest manager ever (did he even coach?). Some of the best coaches were not very good players. See Don Shula, Joe Maddon and others. Great players don't make great coaches by default. To suggest Stoll doesn't know the game based on how he played it at 16 years old is idiotic at best. If anything, it proves he and others like him had to work twice as hard to prove they could coach.

lawrencefan02 7 years, 11 months ago

Number_1_grandma I must agree with Cato. Obviously Stoll knows the game of baseball considering he just helped lead lhs to a state title in 09. You don't have to play the sport to be a good coach aka Charle Wesis. To sum it up Coach Stoll has earned the right to coach however he chooses. Wheather its for the future or not. Anyways congrats Bert and good luck with WSU or the braves

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 11 months ago

Grandma's silence since early this morning speaks volumes.

kinetix 7 years, 11 months ago

33rd round will probably get you a signing bonus of about $20,000, which is not chump change, but 3 years at Wichita St, or when he turns 21, whichever comes first, may net him a six-figure signing bonus or possibly more.

CHEEZIT 7 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Kukuk how did their BA compare in the tournament??? Who made the last out with the game on the line???

cato_the_elder 7 years, 11 months ago

N1DPG, your obvious hostility toward LHS causes you to be irrationally critical of all of its coaches. Your last post is your most entertaining one yet. I'm also surprised that you would encourage Lawrence kids to play for Olathe or Blue Valley schools rather than north of 15th right here in Lawrence. If you had any idea of the favoritism practiced in some of the Johnson County baseball programs you'd withdraw that statement. Of course, you don't know, because you know very little - especially regarding the criticisms you routinely enjoy leveling at LHS and its coaches. Give it up and take on a project, if there is one, that you actually know something about.

Clickker 7 years, 11 months ago

LHS freshman next year will be loaded in baseball. Good things for 3-4 years no doubt. Its all cyclical. Some years FS has it, some years LHS. I hear a number of FS parents who's kids are passed over as upper classmen echoing the same complaints as those against Stoll.

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

I am not Rod Kukuk. In fact I just met him for the first time this season Mr. Lewis, I mean cheezit, but are you really comparing a three game series to the entire season? WOW.

Tim is a nice complimentary player, but he's a 2-3 tool player not a 4-5 tool player like Kukuk and Toalson. I'd put JD in there above Tim. The good thing for your kid is the representatives from the JR class on the JV team weren't real strong players and even weaker in character.

Grandma calling out a poster who has one comment on the whole thread about not having a life is the funniest thing on this entire string. Followed closely of course by her complete lack of ability to form an intelligent argument since she constantly contradicts herself.

Clickker - you're off by a year. This year's LHS freshman class was loaded. Next year will be pretty good, but not quite to this year's level. The same could have been said for FSHS, but about half of their freshman didn't even go out for the team.

Clickker 7 years, 11 months ago

I think overall I am probably not too far off. Yes they had Stuever and Willabey, but next years frosh of Big Brice, Bell, and Dorians little brother, could challenge for at least JV.

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget Brad Strauss, Driskell Johnson and Aaron Rea's little brother in this year's freshman class.

No doubt about it, next year will be good though. Besides the three you mention, add in Severa and Dineen. Of course that Detonator's team is doing itself a disservice by playing down this season.

Clickker 7 years, 11 months ago

They should not have played down. But in Walters defense, I think he didnt know if he was going to have any players since the Lions team raided them all.

dougmarshall 7 years, 11 months ago

I've never known a grandma who knows so much information from the inside of a team. Do you really have Minnis' ear to know he hates Coach Stoll now? You must be one impressive grandma or are you really not a grandma at all? If your logic about Coach Stoll being a bad player makes him a bad coach, then why wouldn't the reverse be true? If he was a good player then he'd be a good coach, at least by your backward logic. Therefor, it should reason that Michael Jordan would be a great coach. I don't think it worked out for him that way. As for money, if a kid is really playing based on what a parent gives, you are right, that is wrong. I doubt it happens that way on Stoll's teams. Do you know how much Mr. Kilmer "donated"? If so, do tell. What about Sutliff, Willoughby, do you have their totals? What about Rae last year? That kid never left the field. Maybe his daddy paid a million so he'd play.
Get a clue grandma.

mom_of_three 7 years, 11 months ago

hateful, hateful attacking comments toward each other...all about baseball.... You woulda thought we were talking about basketball....:)

I remember all these kids playing in DCABA and the fall leagues, but haven't seen them play for a few years....

CHEEZIT 7 years, 11 months ago

H2OKU- I'm not Mr. Lewis either. I was just using your logic! As far as Tim and Cody go , I guess we'll just have to wait and see!!!

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

Barring injury, my money is on 6'4/195 over 5'9/170 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

The only kid that small to make it beyond anything more than D-II level college play from around here is the Hooper kid, and he had some quickness that Tim could only dream about having.

I like Tim, but your ridiculous statements are making it difficult to do anything but dog on him.

CHEEZIT 7 years, 11 months ago

You obviosly don't know the kid or his history!

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