Donald Lutz has re-signed with the Cincinnati Reds after being released by the organization in June. The outfielder began the 2015 season with the Louisville Bats, but tore his UCL early in the season and opted to have Tommy John surgery. That would cost him the rest of the season. Eventually the organization needed a spot on the 40-man roster and outright released him in early June.

He continued his rehab at the Reds facilities after his release, working his way back from the surgery. While pitchers routinely miss 12-18 months after having Tommy John surgery, position players don’t miss as much time in most cases. That was the case for Lutz as he returned to begin playing winter league baseball in the last week of November. After spending the previous two winter leagues playing in Mexico, he returned to the Australian Baseball Leauge to play for Brisbane.

The 26-year-old has only played in roughly half of the team games, but has hit quite well over his 19 games. His 10 doubles and three home runs have helped him post a .293/.338/.547 line on the season thus far.

Donald Lutz originally signed with the Reds as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2007 out of Germany as an 18-year-old. He spent two seasons playing for the Gulf Coast League Reds, struggling as a 19 and 20-year-old. It was in his third season as a pro where he broke out, hitting .286/.356/.478 for the Billings Mustangs. In 2011 he would hit .301 with the Dayton Dragons and smack 20 home runs. That was followed up with a 22 home run campaign where he hit .269 between Bakersfield and Pensacola in just 107 games. In 2013 he would make his big league debut with the Reds, in the process becoming the first ever German-developed Major Leaguer (there have been other German-born players in the big leagues, but none that grew up in Germany).

Here’s his current statline in Australia for the season:

75 10 0 3 19 5 16 1 .293 .338 .547

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