The Binghamton Mets might have the answer to the New York Mets hitting woes.
Third baseman Zach Lutz has slugged seven home runs in seven games since missing 10 weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot. That’s as many homers as Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Alex Cora and Ruben Tejada have hit combined for the Mets this season.
During the torrid span, Lutz went 13-for-29 with three doubles, five walks and 15 RBI. For the season, the righthanded hitter is batting .297/.417/.645 with 15 home runs and 32 RBI in 188 at-bats.
Hitting is nothing new for the 6-1, 220 pound Lutz, who hit .284/.381/.441 with 11 homers and 62 RBI in 99 games in the pitcher-friendly Class A Florida State League last season.
Lutz, a fifth-round pick in 2007 out of Alvernia College in Reading, PA, also has very good strike zone judgment. He has 28 walks against 41 strikeouts this season and 50 walks and 72 strikeouts in ’09 which accounts for his high OBP. Scouts told Baseball America, “He’s a legitimate offensive threat with a short, quick swing, a good approach and the strength to hit for power.”
Lutz has managed to avoid “top prospect” lists, probably because he isn’t long and lean, doesn’t run well or look good in a uniform. Considered a little old for AA ball at 24, Lutz’s development was stunted when he missed most of his debut season because of a broken leg.
He’s shown pretty good hands at the hot corner, making just four errors and fielding .951 in 41 games this season. He committed 13 errors in 87 games last season. Lutz has also played three games at second base and 14 games at first during his career.
Because Lutz isn’t a first-rounder he’ll have to prove himself at every level. He’s on pace to play at Class AAA next season and since it’s unlikely he’ll unseat David Wright or Ike Davis, don’t be surprised if Lutz is tried in the outfield.
Boy, could the Mets use his bat in the outfield right now.