Christopher John Lemonis
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
- School St. John's University
Chris Lemonis played 10 years in the minor leagues.
Lemonis was undrafted out of college, an unlikely start for a future AAA player. He signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers. He began his pro career by hitting .236/.307/.293 for the Jamestown Jammers in 1995. Moving up to the Visalia Oaks in 1996, the New Yorker batted .278/.332/.434 with a career-high 69 runs, 27 doubles, 14 homers, 82 RBI, 12 steals and 35 walks. He had 22 errors at second base, tying Jesse Garcia for the California League lead.
In 1997, the 23-year-old put up a .304/.345/.437 line in 48 games for the West Michigan Whitecaps. Chris hit .281/.337/.367 for the '98 Lakeland Tigers as a utility infielder. The next year, he batted .283/.345/.408 for the Jacksonville Suns followed in 2000 by .215/.261/.340 for the Toledo Mud Hens and was the team's most-used player at second base with 45 games.
Chris split 2001 between the Florida Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks chains, hitting .309/.357/.396 in 87 games for the El Paso Diablos, going 5 for 23 for the Tucson Sidewinders and 4 for 25 with the Calgary Cannons. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 9th in the Texas League in average. The St. John's alumnus was just 0 for 17 with two walks for the 2002 Altoona Curve, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate.
Lemonis then moved to the Taiwan Major League, where he hit .275/.315/.350 for the Chianan Luka over the remainder of 2002. In '03, Chris was in the Baltimore Orioles system, splitting time between the Ottawa Lynx (.234/.303/.319 in 60 G) and the Bowie Baysox (7 for 34, two doubles). He joined the Greek national team for the 2003 European Championship. He went 6 for 30 with four walks, a double, the lone Greek homer and six RBI. In the Gold Medal game, he went 0 for 4 from the 6th slot in the order in a 2-0 loss to Rob Cordemans and the Dutch national team. He tied Claudio Liverziani and teammates Erik Pappas and Cory Harris for 7th in the event in RBI.
In 2004, Chris wrapped up his minor league career with an appearance in the independent leagues. He hit .317/.384/.475 in 82 games for the Somerset Patriots and was 1 for 3 with a walk for the Sioux City Explorers. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 8th in the Atlantic League in average.
Lemonis was back with Greece for the 2008 European Championship Qualifiers. He went just 1 for 10 out of the cleanup slot as Greece's first baseman but his hit was a big one, a 3-run homer off Viacheslav Vasilyev in Greece's 5-0 win over the Russian national team in the finale as they won a spot in the 2010 European Championship. Chris also pitched two shutout innings in a win over Ireland.
He is with Greece for the 2010 European Championship.