Lutz Looking for Luck This Season

BUFFALO, NY - Third baseman Zach Lutz is looking to stave off injury and produce at the Triple-A level this season. It can be frustrating to suffer numerous injuries over the past few years and it can give organizations pause when evaluating a player, but he has shown in the past that he can be relied on to produce at the plate when he's healthy.

He suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in the 2010 season where he missed about two months while playing with the Mets' Double-A affiliate in Binghamton. In 2011, with that foot seemingly healed, his luck took a bad turn, as he suffered numerous freak injuries, which allowed him to miss a good chunk of the season.

Normally, when a player is consistently injured, doubts can linger onto a player and an organization, but Lutz is staying optimistic, believing that things will be a bit different this season.

"Last year different because I had a lot of freak injuries," Lutz said. "Hopefully my luck has changed this year. Nothing you can really do but just go out and play."

Despite playing in only 61 games due to numerous injuries, Lutz finished second only to designated hitter Valentino Pascucci in homers with eleven. With a .295 batting average, a.380 on base percentage, and an .880 on base plus slugging (OPS), he is a guy, who when healthy, can bring a big bat into a lineup.

This season, he has shown no signs of slowing down in the power department. He started off with a bang, especially at home, as he slugged two home runs against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the season opener, which was a big boost to start the season.

"It felt good," Lutz said. "With Opening Day and the crowd being out there and the weather, it felt good to put some swings on the ball and got the ball out of the ballpark. And we got a good win too."

In 13 games this season, he is hitting well and getting on base often, with .364/.462/1.052 splits, which is impressive considering he suffered through some freak injuries in Spring Training, limiting him in games in the preseason. His approach at the plate this season is one that manager Wally Backman enjoys watching.

"Lutz is very aggressive at the plate," Backman said. "He can get overly aggressive at times. I love [it] though, it's nice to be able to pull the reins back a little bit on a guy that is too aggressive. He's one of the hardest workers on the team out on the field and he works very hard to better his game all the time."

Although he is looked at by scouts for his abilities at the plate, Lutz has worked hard on his defense as well. It is something that was worked on in the offseason, which was different in years past as he usually trains with Yogi Lutz, his father and coach at Alvernia College in Pennsylvania. He thinks the change could make him a more complete player.

"This offseason I worked out with a guy in the Mets organization, Darin Gorski, and we worked out at a place back home called Power Training Sports," Lutz said. "They have an indoor field where I could hit and throw. I worked out there four times a week."

Although he is producing in all aspects in Buffalo so far this season, his road to the show faces a daunting task. With a perennial all-star, and Mets franchise player like David Wright, it seems as if it would be frustrating for a young player like Lutz coming up in the minor league ranks and trying to succeed. If you ask him however, he would tell you otherwise.

"I hear that all the time, but I don't worry about that at all," Lutz said. "All I have to worry about is my game, just working hard and improving on my game every day. I'm here with the Bisons and trying to help us win here. I can't worry about anything else."

With the youth movement making a splash an the major league level, it gives Lutz more ammunition to continue on his mechanics to improve his game.

"Playing with guys like [Mets outfielder] Lucas Duda and [Mets pitcher] Dillon Gee coming up through the system definitely gives me motivation," Lutz said. "I know if I can go out there and play hard I can be up there too."

If he can stay healthy, and keeps up his production, two aspects he wants to focus on this year, the majors may not be that far off.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nHe suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in the 2010 season where he missed about two months while playing with the Mets' Double-A affiliate in Binghamton. In 2011, with that foot seemingly healed, his luck took a bad turn, as he suffered numerous freak injuries, which allowed him to miss a good chunk of the season.
\r\n
\r\nNormally, when a player is consistently injured, doubts can linger onto a player and an organization, but Lutz is staying optimistic, believing that things will be a bit different this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Last year different because I had a lot of freak injuries,\" Lutz said. \"Hopefully my luck has changed this year. Nothing you can really do but just go out and play.\"
\r\n
\r\nDespite playing in only 61 games due to numerous injuries, Lutz finished second only to designated hitter Valentino Pascucci in homers with eleven. With a .295 batting average, a.380 on base percentage, and an .880 on base plus slugging (OPS), he is a guy, who when healthy, can bring a big bat into a lineup.
\r\n
\r\nThis season, he has shown no signs of slowing down in the power department. He started off with a bang, especially at home, as he slugged two home runs against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the season opener, which was a big boost to start the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"It felt good,\" Lutz said. \"With Opening Day and the crowd being out there and the weather, it felt good to put some swings on the ball and got the ball out of the ballpark. And we got a good win too.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn 13 games this season, he is hitting well and getting on base often, with .364/.462/1.052 splits, which is impressive considering he suffered through some freak injuries in Spring Training, limiting him in games in the preseason. \r\nHis approach at the plate this season is one that manager Wally Backman enjoys watching.
\r\n
\r\n\"Lutz is very aggressive at the plate,\" Backman said. \"He can get overly aggressive at times. I love [it] though, it's nice to be able to pull the reins back a little bit on a guy that is too aggressive. He's one of the hardest workers on the team out on the field and he works very hard to better his game all the time.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough he is looked at by scouts for his abilities at the plate, Lutz has worked hard on his defense as well. It is something that was worked on in the offseason, which was different in years past as he usually trains with Yogi Lutz, his father and coach at Alvernia College in Pennsylvania. He thinks the change could make him a more complete player.
\r\n
\r\n\"This offseason I worked out with a guy in the Mets organization, Darin Gorski, and we worked out at a place back home called Power Training Sports,\" Lutz said. \"They have an indoor field where I could hit and throw. I worked out there four times a week.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough he is producing in all aspects in Buffalo so far this season, his road to the show faces a daunting task. With a perennial all-star, and Mets franchise player like David Wright, it seems as if it would be frustrating for a young player like Lutz coming up in the minor league ranks and trying to succeed. If you ask him however, he would tell you otherwise.
\r\n
\r\n\"I hear that all the time, but I don't worry about that at all,\" Lutz said. \"All I have to worry about is my game, just working hard and improving on my game every day. I'm here with the Bisons and trying to help us win here. I can't worry about anything else.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the youth movement making a splash an the major league level, it gives Lutz more ammunition to continue on his mechanics to improve his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"Playing with guys like [Mets outfielder] Lucas Duda and [Mets pitcher] Dillon Gee coming up through the system definitely gives me motivation,\" Lutz said. \"I know if I can go out there and play hard I can be up there too.\"
\r\n
\r\nIf he can stay healthy, and keeps up his production, two aspects he wants to focus on this year, the majors may not be that far off.
\r\n
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