Cincinnati picks former Lower Dauphin ace Lutz
Thursday, June 08, 2006
BY ERIC F. EPLER
For The Patriot-News
His rather quiet Tuesday afternoon aside, Derrik Lutz found relief on day two of Major League Baseball's amateur draft. The former Lower Dauphin ace and George Washington University's top right-hander was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 19th-round yesterday, 564th overall.
"It was nerve-racking because of the excitement and possibility [of being drafted earlier]," said Lutz, who battled tendinitis late this season. "Maybe some teams were scared away because they thought I was injured? But it's probably better this way. Now that's it's done, the options are there. The Red are going to follow me this summer and going back to school is an option."
Lutz, a three-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference pick, earned a closer's role during his freshman campaign and quickly set GW's single-single mark in saves (12). That nugget earned the 6-foot, 205-pound hurler a spot on the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team.
In 2005, the hard-thrower moved to the Colonials' starting rotation and posted an impressive 8-1 mark before heading to Chatham (Mass.) and the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League.
Interest grew as Lutz, in 25 innings, allowed no runs and struck out 39 with 12 saves. This spring, Lutz went 6-4 with a team-leading 1.54 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 992/3 innings.
The Reds will follow Lutz' progress in Chatham, where he'll pitch from the bullpen.
"Teams were not likely to use a 10th or even 11th-round pick on someone that could possibly be injured," said Lutz. "They want to be sure and once I get [to Chatham] in the summer, I'll be able to prove to the Reds that I'm definitely 100 percent."
Another Mid-Penn product, third-baseman Jared Olson, was plucked in the 27th round yesterday by the Texas Rangers. One year removed from Chambersburg High School, Olson led Frederick Community College to a 34-19 record this season, batting .432 with nine home runs and 58 runs batted in.
The 6-3, 200-pound Olson, who tagged 23 doubles, was an NJCAA Division II All-America selection.
Line Mountain graduate Kelly Sweppenhiser, who worked out in Toronto on May 31, was selected by the Blue Jays in the 44th round. The Herndon native capped a sensational four-year career at Virginia Military Institute by earning All-Big South Conference first-team honors for the second consecutive season.
The tough-minded third baseman led VMI to its first 30-win season and owns several VMI career totals, including hits (263), runs (172), total bases (411) and on-base percentage (.457). He hit .350 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs this season, VMI's first winning campaign in 41 years.
ERIC F. EPLER: 255-8187 or email@example.com
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