Mario August Lissón Ortega
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 216 lb.
- High School Unidad Educativa Colegio Cervantes
Mario Lissón has played as high as AAA.
He signed with the Kansas City Royals in April 2002; the scout was Juan Indriago. He split that year between the DSL Royals (.198/.330/.222, 16 E in 30 G) and GCL Royals (2 for 10, 4 BB). He spent all of 2003 with the DSL Royals, improving to .290/.416/.395, winning Dominican Royals Player of the Year honors. Mario came stateside for all of 2004, batting .289/.398/.438 for the Idaho Falls Chukars, with 44 walks, 15 steals (in 21 tries), 8 home runs, 60 runs and 49 RBI in 71 games, though he fielded only .895 at SS and .894 at 3B. He was 5th in the Pioneer League in runs, tied for 7th in steals and tied for 8th in walks.
Mario produced at a .250/.386/.408 clip with 23 steals in 27 tries for the 2005 Burlington Bees, despite missing significant time with a left shoulder injury. He excelled for Burlington in '06, winning the team's Player of the Year award by hitting .263/.368/.421 with 30 doubles, 41 steals (in 52 attempts), 65 walks and 73 RBI, while fielding .926 at 3B. He was second in the Midwest League in swipes, behind Brad Coon, was 10th in RBI, tied for 10th in doubles and tied for 5th in walks. He was 5th in the Royals chain in walks, 7th in RBI, 6th in doubles and first in steals (11 ahead of Jose Duarte and Irving Falu). He was 1 for 1 with a run that summer for the Leones del Caracas, making his Venezuelan League debut.
The Caracas native remained productive with the 2007 Wilmington Blue Rocks, batting .285/.348/.408 with 27 doubles, 23 steals (caught 9 times) and 72 runs, while improving his fielding percentage at third to .958. He tied for 7th in the Carolina League in runs, tied for 10th in swipes, was 11th in average and was 10th with 189 total bases. The Kansas City Royals put him on their 40-man roster that winter. With the 2007-2008 Leones, he hit .218/.289/.397. He tied for 7th in the league with 7 home runs, though.
With the 2008 Northwest Arkansas Naturals, he hit .225/.284/.374 with 14 home runs and stole 31 bases while only being caught 6 times; defensively, he alternated between SS and 3B. His walk rate was falling though, as he drew just 33 free passes. He was 8th in the Royals chain in stolen bases and sixth in the Texas League in that department. In 2008-2009, he was 8 for 38 with 6 extra-base hits (3 doubles, a triple, 2 homers) for his hometown Caracas squad. Entering 2009, Baseball America named him the best defensive infielder in the Royals chain.
Lissón played mainly shortstop in 2009, split between the Naturals (.206/.287/.279 in 36 G) and Omaha Royals (.236/.282/.410 in 95 G), continuing to display contact problems. He had 27 doubles and 14 home runs for the year though his steals were off (11 SB, 7 CS). He was with Caracas for most of 2009-2010 (.232/.350/.545, 7 HR) but also played briefly for the Aguilas del Zulia, going 8 for 34 with 2 doubles, a home run and two walks. His eight home runs were one shy of making the league's top 10. Baseball America again rated him as the best defensive infielder in Kansas City's system entering 2010, but he missed the entire season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Re-signing with the Royals as a minor league free agent, he returned to action with the 2011 Naturals, hitting .293/.372/.527 with 15 HR and 15 SB (2 CS) in 89 games, while fielding only .919 at 3B. Had he qualified, he would have been 7th in the Texas League in average, 10th in OBP, tied for 5th in slugging and 6th in OPS. He continued to show pop in winter ball, now with the Navegantes del Magallanes; he hit .279/.362/.515 with 11 homers and 29 RBI in 50 games. He finished second in homers, four behind Bryan LaHair and 5th in slugging, between Gregor Blanco and Jesus Flores.
As a corner infielder for Northwest Arkansas in 2012, the veteran posted a .247/.338/.410 batting line with 11 homers and 20 steals in 24 tries. He hit .262/.364/.411 with 26 RBI for the Navegantes in 2012-2013. He made it to the Caribbean Series with the club, hitting .261/.261/.522 with two homers, tying Miguel Tejada and Francisco Pena for the Series lead. He played 1B, 3B and LF in the Series. His solo homer off Efrain Nieves was the only run for Magallanes in a loss to Caguas. In their 4-3 win over the eventual champion Mexican squad, he took Oscar Villarreal deep to close the gap to 3-2, then singled off Mike Benacka to score José Castillo with the winner with two outs in the bottom of the 9th.
- 2012 Royals Media Guide