Hamilton, Lutz play winter ball

While many established Major Leaguers have found that just right spot on their sofas, or shaved a few strokes from their golf score, some of those trying to become established in the future will continue to hone their baseball skills in the offseason.

That often means winter ball in Latin America. Reds outfield prospect Donald Lutz, who spent several weeks in the big leagues this past season, is about to start playing again.

In 34 games with the Reds, Lutz batted .241 with one homer and eight RBIs. In 59 plate appearances, he had one walk and 14 strikeouts. After a hot start, he struggled at the plate and was limited to mostly pinch-hitting near the end of his tenure in June.

Also — it looks like top prospect and OF Billy Hamilton is playing for Santurce in Puerto Rico this winter. The team’s Facebook page has his photo. Click here to see.

UPDATE: Reds OF Derrick Robinson is also playing in Puerto Rico for Santurce. Their season begins on Nov. 2.

Others playing winter ball:

INF Henry Rodriguez is in Venezuela with Aguilas and 5-for-22 (.227).

OF Denis Phipps is 0-for-10 playing for Estrellas in the Dominican Republic.

RHP Pedro Villarreal, also in Venezuela, has a 3.65 ERA in three starts with 10 hits, nine walks and nine strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings for the Tiburones.

UPDATE: I was being a little facetious at the top. A lot of established players actually work out year round and start hitting early. But this is still downtime for many.


The Reds minor league system is not looking too hot, especially the higher levels. I guess that is the price you pay for trading prospects for Choo, Latos, Broxton, Marshall et al.

Reds are ranking #25 for farm system should be mandatory winter ball for all our entire minor league farm teams

Earlier this season, I posted some stats that showed that all 4 minor league teams’
rankings in their leagues, by AVG and OBP. In every single league, they ranked toward the bottom. It is something that must be addressed as the next step up, the
Reds, is also feeling the same inflictions. The reality is that their lack of plate knowledge and discipline has permeated the entire organization.

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