Enns Thrives as Tully Monsters Ace, Leader in Homecoming

by Kaitlyn Altmann

By Jimmy Lynn

Tully Monsters starting pitcher Dietrich Enns has looked right at home on the mound throughout the 2020 City of Champions Cup in Joliet—possibly because DuPage Medical Group Field is just 15 miles down the road from his hometown. 

“I grew up going to some Slammers games—they were the JackHammers back then,” the Frankfort native said. “I’d go to the games with my two little brothers when we were younger, so it’s been cool to come back here and play and relive those memories.” 

Enns was selected by the Tully Monsters in the first round of the 2020 City of Champions Cup draft, and he has dominated opposing lineups so far through 18 innings pitched. The ace holds a 1.00 ERA and has racked up a league-leading 33 strikeouts.

Enns credits his success so far this summer to his mentality on the mound and the mechanical tweaks he made in the offseason.

“My mindset probably is the biggest reason, just focusing on one pitch at a time,” Enns said. “I also made some adjustments in the offseason last year to be more efficient and use my whole body instead of just my arm.”

Enns’ offseason training has yielded impressive results: His fastball has sat in the 92-94 mph range this summer, up from 88-91 mph last year, and his sharp cutter has been deadly against hitters in two-strike counts.

At 29 years old, Enns’ veteran presence has been invaluable for the Tully Monsters. The lefthander has pitched over 600 innings at various levels of affiliated baseball since being drafted in 2012, including four seasons in Triple-A and a 2017 stint in the Major Leagues with the Minnesota Twins. Enns’ high-level experience and natural leadership qualities inspired Scott Spiezio, the Tully Monsters manager, to name him the team’s pitching coach.

“It’s a pretty new experience for me. I’ve never really been a pitching coach on a team,” Enns said. “It creates some new perspectives of the way you see the game and how to handle different guys. I’ve really created good relationships with some of the pitchers, coaches and even the hitters because I’m just watching stuff a lot more intently.”

The most important lesson Enns hopes to teach his pitching staff is to maintain a positive attitude through the highs and lows of the season. From his years of professional experience, Enns relayed that he can now “snap out of it” when a negative thought comes across his mind while pitching, and he wants to ingrain that same mindset in some of the other Tully Monsters pitchers.

“That’s something that I try to use when I’m out on the mound, and also try to relay to the younger pitchers and hitters: to not let the downs keep them down and bounce back, because baseball is a game of failure,” Enns said. “Those guys that have a positive mindset through it all tend to have more success in the long run.”

Enns is not the only Tully Monster with Major League experience: Spiezio played twelve seasons in the MLB for the Oakland Athletics, Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals. Tully Monsters such as Enns have enjoyed playing for Spiezio so far due to his lighthearted personality and advanced understanding of the game.

“He’s been an awesome manager. He’s a really easygoing and funny guy, so he keeps the team loose,” Enns said. “He has a wealth of knowledge from his career in the big leagues, so it’s been really cool to talk to him about his experiences and bounce questions off of him.”

“We have a fun staff and a fun team, so it’s been a really enjoyable summer so far.”

 Enns hopes to continue his exceptional start to the season this Thursday when he toes the rubber for the Tully Monsters against the first-place Joliet Slammers at 7:05 p.m. In his start against the Slammers last Friday, Enns struck out 11 batters over seven shutout innings. Come out to DuPage Medical Group Field for Thursday night’s matchup, and you might see another gem from Enns on the mound! 

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois.  They will play their 10th season in 2020.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the office at 815-722-2287 for more information.  Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers and Instagram at @jolietslammersofficial  

Joliet Slammers Contact:

Kaitlyn Altmann- Marketing and Promotions Manager