Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Highlighting top Reds prospects in 2013: Donald Lutz



by: Jon Davis
Staff Writer

#16 Donald Lutz 1B
@braunerhulk on Twitter

Next on the list we have Donald Lutz, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound first baseman, who was a non-drafted free agent, signed in July of 2007 out of Germany. He was born in New York, but raised in Germany and still retains dual citizenship. He is "a flip flopper", just like No. 11 Ryan LaMarre, but he hits left handed and throws right handed, the opposite of LaMarre. Now to the numbers, 2011 was the first year he played more than 55 games in a season. In 123 games, all with Low A Dayton, his bat really came alive hitting .301, with a .358 on base, .492 slugging, 20 homers and 75 RBI's. Last year, splitting time between High A & Double A, he hit .269, with a .336 on base, .517 slugging and 22 homers, in 50 less AB's than the previous year.

Donald Lutz is very similar to No.15 Neftali Soto in that he has great power, but just like most young power hitters needs to work on plate discipline -- something they both made strides at last year. The other thing is they both are average defenders at first base and have shown to be below average defenders anywhere else. This is a problem given that the Reds have Joey Votto, who is not only one of the best hitting first basemen in the league, but also a Gold Glove caliber first baseman. Now having said that, Lutz has impressive raw power and has shown it off in games, he also runs very well for his size. It is counter intuitive, but despite being bigger than Soto, Lutz actually moves a lot better leading to him play more than just first base last year, as he saw some time in the outfield.

It is tough to say what will happen with Lutz, and Soto for that matter, in the future given the logjam at 1B. As with Soto, he is on the 40 man roster which means we could see him in Cincy in 2013 if he is needed. He will probably start the year in Pensacola, given he only played 40 games there last year and that Soto will be playing first in Louisville. Although it is possible, however unlikely that they both start in Triple A in a platoon situation, or with Lutz in left field, but my money is on Pensacola. Another year in the minors is the plan so that he can work on his plate discipline. As with Soto a big year could make him a trade chip at the deadline and may be the most likely avenue for him to get into a big league uniform.

A look back on the previous prospect posts...
No. 1 - Billy Hamilton
No. 2 - Robert Stephenson
No. 3 - Tony Cingrani
No. 4 - Daniel Corcino
No. 5 - Nick Travieso
No. 6 - Jesse Winker
No. 7 - Tanner Rahier
No. 8 - Kyle Lotzkar
No. 9 - Yorman Rodriguez
No. 10 - Ismael Guillon
No. 11 - Ryan LaMarre
No. 12 - Amir Garrett
No. 13 - Dan Langfield
No. 14 - David Vidal
No. 15 - Neftali Soto

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been a Reds Fan since Crosley Field. Excited about Hamilton and hope to see him in
Cincinati with the big boys.
Fraizer should be treated as the great player he is and proven and play 3rd base daily this year.
Being honest I was very sad to see
Dusty Baker back as manager. Also
I hope that Rolin stays in Indiana
and realizes he needs to stop as all geat players do when they are
not able to perform.
I also hope to see the Cubin Missle start regularly. Good Luck!