|Cincinnati Reds – No. 23|
|First baseman / Outfielder|
February 6, 1989 |
Watertown, New York
|Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
|April 29, 2013 for the Cincinnati Reds|
(through May 15, 2013)
|Runs batted in||5|
Donald Lutz (born February 6, 1989) is a German-American professional baseball left-fielder/pinch-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball. He signed with the Reds as an non-drafted amateur free agent in 2007. Despite starting his baseball career in his teenage years, and in Germany, Lutz first visited Cincinnati's spring training camp, reached Class AA and was placed on the Reds 40-man roster in 2012, aged 23.
Lutz was still a baby when his family moved to Germany. He had his first experience with the sport at 14 when his older brother took him to a training session of the Friedberg Braves, a team located in Friedberg (Hessen). Since then Lutz has rapidly increased his skills, especially his powerful hitting made him so successful. After two years with the local team he went to the Bad Hmburg Hornets and played there for two season before he went to a baseball boarding school in Regensburg for one more season. Within another few years he became a member of the Germany national baseball team and traveled to Europe-wide training camps, which finally led to the signing with the Cincinnati Reds on July 15 2007.
Lutz played his first two seasons for the former Gulf Coast League affiliate of the Reds. In these he played 50 games and achieved a .250 BA with one home run and 19 RBIs in the first season, while only scoring a .169 BA, 10 RBIs and no home runs in the following year. In his third season Lutz remained in the Rookie level but was transferred to the Billings Mustangs from the Pioneer League, where he had a .286 BA as well as 7 home runs and 28 RBIs.
After an impressive 2011 season for the single-A Dayton Dragons with a .301 BA and 20 home runs and the teams first cycle, Lutz was promoted to the Reds 40-man roster in 2012 and participated in 15 Spring training games. Only a few days before opening day he was dropped out of the active roster and sent to advanced-A affiliate Bakersfield Blaze. There he played a not less impressive season than the one before. Until mid-July he made 63 appearances and batted massive 17 home runs and 51 RBIs. After being promoted to double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos Lutz continued with nearly the same statistics. Although playing in the Arizona Fall League and a second spring training with the Reds, Lutz started the 2013 season in Pensacola but is still on the 40-man roster.
The Reds promoted Lutz to the major leagues on April 29, 2013. On May 5, 2013, against Shawn Camp of the Chicago Cubs, Lutz got his first MLB hit when he lined a ball into center field. Lutz also went on to score that inning, and registered an RBI and stolen base later in the same game. Lutz hit his first career home run on May 12, 2013, a three run homer off of Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta.