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With a Twitter handle like @Braunerhulk, one would expect a bunch of power potential in the bat of Donald Lutz. The 25-year-old packs a huge punch in his 6'3", 250 pound frame, and it translated into back-to-back seasons of 15-plus home runs between the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Take a look at Lutz's numbers over the last three minor league seasons.
|2012 (Rk, A+, AA)
Lutz's numbers have dipped slightly over each climb in competition, but he has displayed outstanding power at every stop along the way.
Lutz struggled early in 2013, but even through a prolonged slump where he hit .211 with an OBP of .294, the young outfielder still managed to slug .513 with five home runs, four doubles, two triples and 14 RBI in just 21 games.
Lutz was promoted to to Cincinnati at the end of April but struggled through his first 58 at-bats as a big leaguer. Over that span of at-bats, Lutz slashed .241/.254/.310 with one home run, one double, eight RBI and a 14:1 K/BB ratio.
After struggling through his first call-up, Lutz returned to Double-A Pensacola, where he appeared much more comfortable. Over 153 at-bats after his reassignment, Lutz put out a solid .261/.329/.379 slash line with two home runs, eight doubles, two triples, 16 RBI, 22 runs scored and a 35:12 K/BB ratio.
Lutz's solid minor league campaign has carried over into the spring, showcasing that power. Over 12 at-bats, Lutz boasts a .250/.357/.667 slash line with one home runs, three doubles, one triple, five RBI, four runs scored and a 2:1 K/BB ratio.
Lutz leads the team in RBI this spring and has displayed significantly improved bat-on-ball skills with just two strikeouts to his credit.
With the Reds outfield situation pretty well settled for opening day, Lutz will likely return to Double-A, where he can receive consistent at-bats. However, if he's able to continue his hot hitting, he'll make a strong case for roster inclusion as a midseason or September call-up.