Merrimack Journal: Bentley's Gillis Proving Doubters Wrong
For Immediate Release
July 3, 2012
Courtesy of the Merrimack Journal, Written by Tom King
Scouts hear it all the time: "Hey, you gotta go see this kid play. Really!"
Once in awhile, during a slow week, they may take a peek. Usually it's a night out watching baseball, not much more.
Well, pro scouts, ya gotta go see a certain kid play. Really.
His name is Logan Gillis, and if you follow the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, you already know who he is and what he can do.
What he does best is hit.
Gillis has seemingly toyed with FCBL pitchers for one whole season and the start of another. He was the league batting champ last summer and has picked up right where he left off. He's been a .300 hitter for Bentley University. He has great baseball instincts, plays a good second base, can run, hit for power. What more does a scout need to know?
That's the question. Everyone associated with the FCBL and the Silver Knights thinks Gillis should have a future in the game.
"He deserves an opportunity to play at the next level," FCBL Commissioner Chris Hall, who has been an agent, minor league general manager, and talent evaluator during his time in the game. "It's whether or not somebody will take a shot."
We all knew from last year that Gillis is good. But this? He's the toughest out in a good lineup. He's tailed off a little, now hitting .500 with two homers and 15 RBIs, but nobody could've kept the .650 pace up that he had. Gee, think you'll take .500? A couple of weeks ago he had two straight walk off hits, one of them a homer.
Challenge him; it's more than likely that he'll answer it. We were all deprived of watching him play high school ball because he went to Lawrence Academy. People told him he'd never get a Division I scholarship and he got one, and he went to Northeastern. It ended up not being a good fit. He was happy moving to Bentley.
Now it's whispered that he's a New England kid, he's short, he probably won't get many looks.
Big mistake if he's ignored.
"I've had people doubting me my whole life," Gillis said. "I use that as motivation, just to try to prove them wrong."
"He's got a great swing," Neverett said. "He's got another year left at Bentley, he can certainly open some eyes there. He's going to start opening some eyes here."
Gillis is big on school, studying marketing. The fact he didn't get into NU's business school is one reason he didn't stay. He says the reason his numbers are even better than they were in college is that he can concentrate on baseball and not worry about school. He has a batting cage at home in Merrimack. He gets to the ballpark every day around 2 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game. That's dedication.
"I go to a tough school; keeping up with the schoolwork and a 50-game college season is tough,'' he said. "Now, from the moment I wake up every day to the moment I go to sleep, I'm focused on baseball."
If an affiliate offered Gillis a contract now, he says he'd sign in a heartbeat. If he has to go the independent league route after his senior year at Bentley, so be it. He has done the pro scout tryout days.
"It's just like a college showcase," Gillis said "Hundreds of guys out there, all doing the same thing, chasing a dream. And you're looking to impress one guy. It's tough. I kind of already start with a negative mark next to me because of my size. I'm only 5-8."
Others have fought it. Many compare him, of course, to Red Sox mighty mite Dustin Pedroia. Gillis reminds yours truly of a first baseman who played years ago for Milford High School named Neal Huntington. Huntington had a great collegiate career but never got the next break on the field, but instead used his baseball sense off it and is now the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager.
Neverett thinks he'd make a great coach, but also thinks he will go pro.
"Worst case scenario is independent ball," he said. "Who knows? The Northeast-10 has sent a lot of guys in the draft over the years. There's no reason why he can't find his way in there. You need to find an organization that has an opening for a smaller guy. It didn't work out too bad for Dustin Pedroia."
"I beat that (college) hurdle," he said. "Now I'm trying to beat this other one."
OK, scouts, there's your cue. It says here Logan Gillis is worth the look – and the contract.