Today’s player-by-player review of the Mets season brings us to Zach Lutz. The corner infielder only spent a brief time with the Mets this year. He was called up at the end of June when Lucas Duda was injured and then he was a September call-up.
For the 27 year old this was another season of tough luck, as he continued to perform well in AAA but was once again blocked by David Wright and the first base carousel of Duda, Ike Davis, and Josh Satin. Lutz had missed significant time in previous seasons with various injuries, most of them of the “unlucky” variety, but this season he stayed mostly healthy and the poor kid finally played a season without getting hit in the head by any pitches.
March 8, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Zach Lutz (19) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
How He Handled The Bat:
In just 20 at-bats for the Mets Lutz had 6 hits, including 2 doubles. He also walked 6 times, giving him a .462 OBP. 4 of his 6 hits came as a pinch-hitter, his main role in his time with the Mets this season.
For the AAA Las Vegas 51s, he played 111 games. He hit .293 with 13 home runs, 27 doubles, and 80 RBI. He had 54 walks and a .377 OBP. Lutz’s 2013 numbers are similar to how he has produced throughout his career; however, they are impressive after noting his dreadful start to the season. Lutz hit only .218 in April and bounced back to hit at least .293 for every other month.
How He Handled The Glove:
Lutz only made 4 appearances in the field for the Mets this year. He did not make any errors in 29 total innings in the field, 27 at third base and 2 at first base.
In AAA, Lutz played 69 games at third base, 28 at first base, and 6 at DH. He also played 8 games in LF and 1 in RF as part of an early season experiment by the Mets in hopes of finding him another path to the big leagues. He made only 5 errors at third base, 1 at first base, and did not make any errors during his trip to the outfield.
Projected Role In 2014:
Zach Lutz is a strong candidate to come off the 40-man roster in the next set of cuts. He is obviously blocked by David Wright at third base, which is Lutz’s strongest position. This season first base was wide open but Lutz just did not get a chance after Josh Satin produced there first. In a season when Lutz finally was not plagued by bad injury luck he still could not catch a break and that will likely cost him his roster spot.
Contract Status And Trade Rumors:
Lutz is still under team control and will not be arbitration eligible until 2016. At this point he is too old to be considered a prospect but he could still hold some value on the trade market. He will not hit free agency until 2019 and a team that needs insurance in the infield could definitely find him useful. Lutz is a good player who is simply in the wrong organization for his career.