Featured Photo: Tristen Lutz (OF, Brewers)
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Each week Jared Wyllys digs into his notebook and shares some info on a prospect of his choice, then passes along some select entries from our 2018 Prospect Spotlight Library and 2018 Pro Scouting Report Library. This week, we get a closer look at 2017 first rounder Tristen Lutz (OF, Brewers (Class A Wisconsin)), who is concerning himself more with approach and process than production in his first year of full season ball.
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Prospect Focus: Tristen Lutz (OF, Brewers)
As a student at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas, Tristen Lutz’s goal was to play baseball for the University of Texas — committing to play there when he was a junior. But then the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him 34th overall last June, and his plans changed.
Letting go of the desire to play for his home state’s university was not easy, but Lutz said that he felt immediately at ease with the people in the Brewers organization. The outfielder has always been good at setting goals and then adapting as they have to change.
His first year in full-season ball in the Midwest League has presented a challenge at the plate, but he is taking it in stride so far.
“I think it’s a process of learning how to hit in this league,” Lutz told 2080 Baseball. “I need to just start to find my groove here.”
It took until April 20 for his batting average to crest .100, and Lutz has already struck out 36 times in 25 games for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. However, Lutz is beginning to show that he is adjusting. In his last ten games, he is hitting .250 with a home run and three doubles.
Lutz said he knows the strikeouts are an issue, but he believes in his approach at the plate.
“I’ve had to tinker with it some,” Lutz said. “But I’m sticking with my approach and trusting it, even when I’m struggling.”
And there’s plenty of reason for Lutz to trust himself in the batter’s box. In 40 games between extended spring training and the short-season Pioneer League last year, he hit 9 home runs with an OPS of .957. As a prep player at Martin, he hit .341 as a freshman and in his senior year wowed the Brewers enough to earn an over-slot bonus as a competitive balance round selection (33th overall).
Lutz can hit. He has shown that throughout his baseball career. But the Midwest League can be tough on hitters in the early weeks, especially in a year with historically bad April weather. Lutz said he’s learning to roll with this and, in order to keep improving at the plate, has been working closely with Timber Rattlers hitting coach Hainley Statia.
Weathering the grind of a full season requires an appropriate mindset, no matter the level. Lutz, despite still being so new to professional baseball, has that part down. He said his biggest focus this year is trusting and staying consistent with his approach, and not riding the waves of baseball too high or too low.
And he is keeping his goals for the season simple.
“It’s definitely not the stats,” Lutz said. “It’s knowing I’ve improved and gotten better, and that I’ve learned this year. I just want to come out of the season and be a better baseball player.”
Weekly Featured Pro Style Reports
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- Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (High A Daytona) – Steve Givarz
- Tony Santillan, RHP, Reds (High A Daytona) – Steve Givarz
- Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (High A Rancho Cucamonga) – John Eshleman
- Gavin Sheets, 1B, White Sox (High A Winston-Salem) – Adam McInturff
- Hector Perez, RHP, Astros (High A Buies Creek) – Adam McInturff
- Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie) – Adam McInturff
- Sam Hentges, RHP, Indians (High A Lynchburg) – Adam McInturff