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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.

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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.”

Comments

CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 months ago

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

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 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!!!

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mom_of_three 3 years, 10 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....

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dougmarshall 3 years, 10 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.

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Clickker 3 years, 10 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.

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Clickker 3 years, 10 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.

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hail2oldku 3 years, 10 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.

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Clickker 3 years, 10 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.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 10 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.

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 months ago

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

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 10 months ago

Kash,-Obviously doesn't have a life. Lawrencefan02- I'll agree partly with coach Stoll helping LHS win state title in 09'. His best coaching by far. Because he was smart enough to know he had the talent to let the boys plays. He didn't coach much if at all! So kudos to him for understanding when sit on his hands and enjoy the ride. dougmarshall- You don't follow my logic. Michael Jordan PLAYED the game. Stoll DIDN'T. Big difference here! cheerio- Stoll is a good man off the field. One of the finest person one could meet. I'm not disputing that. A select few kids (each year, he has his favorites that he coddles) honestly like him. Every year, every year you can ask the majority of parents and kids how the feel about Stoll and they tell you as a person, he's great. As a coach, he stinks! These are the facts. He should be a politician with his niceness to your face while hosing the vast majority of kids every year. The senior class got hosed this year, plain and simple. Cato- One last time for you as you could never comprehend coaches who may be your 'buddy' but hurt kids....yes, hurt kids! The "Key" personnel this years team lacked was a coach who plays kids based on ability and performance and not because of money, status or who their parents are or aren't. My statement about Kilmer is spot on. Check the stats. Batting .160 for the YEAR and batting in the cleanup spot; started and playing every inning of every game. How do you explain this? His daddy, that's why. Sutliff is a better hitter (Especially in homers for cleanup hitter) and just as good as Kilmer (If not better) at first base. Sutliff is a sophomore (As Hail2KU states) and KIlmer was a senior. But so is Troy Willoughby and he played all the time and wasn't the in the top 10 players on the team. Shane Willoughby did deserve to play as a freshman. Troy did not. Again, who their daddy is and money supporters are. You people would be AMAZED at how much money the LHS and FSHS baseball programs take in each year! Try asking for a budget reporting of this money. Check the starting lineups and you could connect the dots real easy....even Cato! Brad Stoll may be a very nice man in public, (And he is) but as a coach of baseball, he has a lot to learn. Try asking college coaches what they think of him and his coaching. They will tell you (unless it's Wedd or his former assistant coaches who have moved on). College coaches have been directing kids for years to go to FSHS because of lack of coaching at LHS. Heck, ask Albert Minnis what he thinks, now that he's done with LHS baseball. You people keep living in fantasy world about your beloved coach but the truth is he is a lousy baseball teacher and will not help your kids get better at playing baseball. Play for Olathe or Blue Valley schools if you want your kids to learn and get better and most certainly, treated FAIRLY, no matter who you are or how much money your parents have.

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kinetix 3 years, 10 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.

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Kash_Encarri 3 years, 10 months ago

Grandma's silence since early this morning speaks volumes.

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lawrencefan02 3 years, 10 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

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dougmarshall 3 years, 10 months ago

grandma,

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.

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cheerio 3 years, 10 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.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 10 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.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 10 months ago

Name calling now cato? You can't have an 'intelligent' discussion to make a point; so revert to name calling.....What are you about 10 yrs old?

How can Brad Stoll have forgotten more about baseball when he NEVER played the game. He couldn't even make his Lawrence High School baseball team!! He was terrible! And this is the kind of mentor (Joke) to teach Lawrence kids the game? Your making me laugh to hard cato. He played for next season plain as day. EVERYONE in Lawrence knows this. It's not his first time quitting on a LHS team. He did it a few summers back when playing Free State in Manhattan. (Only fitting where he lost for these seniors because it's where he quit on them as freshman to end their careers instead of just ending their summer) Matt Sutliff was the best hitter on the team but wasn't playing much because Tanner Kilmer plays first base as does Sutliff. Kilmer bat in the clean up spot all year batting .160 with no home runs. While Sutliff led the team in homeruns and was a true power hitting clean up hitter. Kilmer lead the team in strikeouts too but since it's who his daddy is, no worries.....he'll play every inning. I could go on and on about how this team could have been much better but you cato wouldn't understand having to earn anything. You have been spoon fed your whole life and only got to play from coaches like Stoll who allowed you to play because you were 'entitled' to because you parents told you, you were better than everyone else. So the coach kept you on the team! You really need to see a therapist about neurotic compulsions about FSHS. JUST keep wearing your to shirt that reads: FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS LIVE NORTH OF 15TH. Makes you look the clown you are!!!!!

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 10 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.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 10 months ago

Sorry hail2oldku, CHEEZIT has it right! Cody is and will be a good, possibly great player. But Tim Lewis is a quality player too. Stoll didn't play his best players. He certainly played for next season as most in Lawrence was able to see by LHS poor showing this season. Sure they graduated a quality class from the state championship team. But look at the kids playing baseball in college next season to his starting lineup to see if they jive. But look at his 'donors list' and you'll see the lineup card matches his donor parents. A shame but true...

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 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!

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dagger 3 years, 10 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!

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hail2oldku 3 years, 10 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.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 10 months ago

Playing for LHS this season killed Minnis. Kukuk will have quality players around him and coaches who won't play players for the future like LHS coaches did. To bad too, a really good kid; who probably should stay in school now. 33rd round doesn't get him much.

Congrats on being drafted Albert!

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