Donald Lutz - First German to the Major Leagues

Donald Lutz was born in Watertown, New York, but moved to Germany soon afterwards with his German mother.  He didn’t pick up a baseball bat until he was fifteen.  He had a tryout with the Friedberg Braves and made the team.  That led to a stint on the German youth national team where the Reds saw him playing in Holland in the European championships.  He went to the major league academy in Italy where the Reds signed him in 2006.

He played for Germany in a qualifying round for the World Baseball Classic that was eventually won by Canada.  While Germany handled the Czech Republic and Great Britain by 16-1 scores they lost both their games to Canada 16-7 and 11-1.  He went 4 for 13 with two RBIs in the qualifier.  In the minor leagues he is playing for AA Pensacola where he is hitting .211 but he has five homeruns.

Originally a first baseman, the Reds have Joey Votto at first base so he was getting some left field experience on his resume in Pensacola.  With the injury to Chris Heisey the Reds found they had a need for a leftfielder.  It is interesting Lutz bats lefthanded.  The Reds greatest need seems to be for an outfielder who hits from the right side.  Lutz is only hitting .053 against lefthanders playing in AA and already have Xavier Paul who bats lefthanded who can play left field.

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