Winter ball for Lutz
When Reds OF/1B Donald Lutz was near the final day of the regular season, he was preparing himself for a quick trip home to Germany to see family and friends. After about a week, he planned to head straight from there to Mexico to play winter ball again for Obregon until around Christmas.
“I need at-bats,” Lutz said.
Indeed he does. This will be a pivotal off-season for Lutz, who will be out of Minor League options when he arrives at Spring Training 2015.
One of the mysteries of the 2014 season, especially near the end, was why more at-bats didn’t come Lutz’s way to get a better idea of what he could do. While he’s been prone to strikeouts, he’s demonstrated some nice left-handed power when he gets a hold of one. He’s also shown, in the Minors at least, that he can often hit well when playing more regularly.
Over three stints with the Reds in the big leagues this season, Lutz got into only 28 games and had 54 plate appearances. He batted .176/.222/.255 with 19 strikeouts. He got only five starts at first base and five in the outfield.
In 23 games at Double-A Pensacola, Lutz batted .360/.412/.685 with six home runs and 16 RBIs.
In 52 games at Triple-A Louisville, Lutz batted .236/.307/.395 with six homers and 33 RBIs. His best month there was in July when he batted .303 (10-for-33).
Last winter, Lutz played for Obregon to get at-bats to make up for lost time after he suffered a broken finger at Pensacola following his first big league stint with the Reds.
Lutz will be 26 in February, which is generally old for a prospect. But he’s only really been playing baseball since he was 16. It will be interesting to see if the Reds think he has a future with them or not next spring.