Donald Lutz was released by the Cincinnati Reds in June as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery after injuring his elbow in April. After having the surgery and doing all of his rehab work he headed to Australia to play for Brisbane in the Australian Baseball League. His performance with the Brisbane Bandits showed his skills and he re-signed with the Reds in January.

The Bandits made it all of the way to the championship series, which was a best of three between themselves and the Adelaide Bite. In game one of the series, Brisbane won 7-4 to take a 1-0 series lead. Lutz, hitting cleanup and playing designated hitter, went 2-4 with a triple, steal, RBI and a run. In game two he put Brisbane up 3-0 in the 3rd inning with a monster 3-run home run. The Bandits would go on to win the game 7-1 and take the championship.

Here’s a video of his home run in the second game:

For the two game series, Lutz would go 3-7 with a triple, home run, four RBI, two runs, a stolen base and he was hit by a pitch. That earned him Most Valuable Player honors for the two game series.

During the regular season Donald Lutz played in 27 games for Brisbane, hitting .272/.348/524 with 11 doubles and five home runs. Lutz only had 28 hits in total, so his 16 extra-base hits accounted for more than half of his hits on the season, and that carried forward into the playoffs as well.

Lutz was not given an invite to spring training this season, which is surprising given that he was on the 40-man roster as recently as June 0f 2015. There are a lot of outfielders that will be fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster, so playing time could be tougher to come by. The Reds will likely be working through several outfield options in the 2016 season and if Lutz can head to Louisville and play well, there will probably be room for him to work his way into Cincinnati’s plans.

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