Eric James Danapilis
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 220 lb.
- School University of Notre Dame
- High School St. Joseph High School
Eric Danapilis was a minor league player for four years. He had previously been an All-American.
Danapilis's Lake Michigan coaching bio lists him as playing in the 1991 Pan American Games; this is not supported by the 1992 Baseball Almanac or usabaseball.com. He hit .377 with 62 RBI as a college junior, making All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference. He improved to .438 with 71 runs and 85 RBI as a senior. He was second in the Midwestern Conference in average and won the Player of the Year award in the conference. He ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in average, tied for 15th in runs (with Armando Rios, Ryan McGuire and Antone Williamson), was tied for 6th in doubles (24) and ranked 4th in RBI, behind only Todd Walker, McGuire and Paul LoDuca. Danapilis was a consensus All-American outfielder, the only consensus choice in the outfield. Others picked were Marc Sagmoen (2 of the 3 major All-American lists), Brooks Kieschnick (1), Pat Watkins (1), Brian Thomas (1) and Vee Hightower (1).
The Detroit Tigers took Danapilis in the 27th round of the 1993 amateur draft, one round after they took Matt Skrmetta. He hit .341/.444/.438 for the Niagara Falls Rapids that summer, leading the New York-Penn League in both batting average and OBP. He was left off the NYPL All-Star team, though, as Jermaine Allensworth, Noel Rodriguez, Ronnie Brown and Ruben Rivera were the four outfielders selected. His Lake Michigan bio is again wrong, claiming he hit .362.
Eric fell to .252/.360/.488 for the 1994 Fayetteville Generals, with 23 homers, 83 RBI and 114 strikeouts. He tied Bobby Higginson and Drew Christmon for the most homers by a Tigers farmhand and was five homers shy of the South Atlantic League lead. His Lake Michigan bio lies again, crediting him with 32 dingers. In '95, he batted .258/.363/.393 with 61 walks for the Jacksonville Suns, but his home run total fell to 10. His resume inflation at Lake Michigan lists totally fabricated numbers of .302 with 28 HR, 105 RBI and a made-up Player of the Year award. In 1996, Danapilis put up a .257/.378/.419 line with 29 doubles, 66 walks and 122 strikeouts as a first baseman for the Visalia Oaks.