Germans abroad: The week in review (04/14/14-04/20/14)

It’s actually not a week but a look at what they did since the start of the season, so here we go. (I hope I can get back to a weekly edition with this segment. Bare with me.)

C Kai Gronauer (AAA Las Vegas 51′s, Mets)
Pretty much relegated to a pinch hitting role with the 51’s. He had 5 plate appearances for Las Vegas so far and he is still waiting for his first hit (2BB, 3K). For what it’s worth, that’s a .400 OBP. What’s interesting is that all those PA came from April 16th-April 20th so there is some regularity. Looks like 51’s manager Wally Backman is trying to give him some chances. As far as I can see Gronauer hasn’t played in the field so far.

5G, 5PA, 3AB, 2BB, 3K, .000/.400/.000

OF/1B Donald Lutz (AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Reds)
I had thought he might start the season at AAA, but he is doing all he can to get there as soon as possible. Lutz is off to a hot start with the Blue Wahoos, raking at a .308/.379/.577 clip. He also has 3HR over 14 games and 7RBI. The strikeout number is a bit high, but not too high, if you ask me. If he can keep this up, he should be in Louisville in no time. In the field he played all of his games in left while filling in as the DH on one occasion.

14G, 52AB, 7R, 3HR, 7RBI, 5BB, 13K, .308/.379/.577

OF/1B Max Kepler (A+ Fort Myers Miracle, Twins)
Kepler is playing his first season at a higher level and it looks like he’s still trying to find his rhythm. He had a few multihit games, but he also went cold for some stretches so far. What’s encouraging is his K numbers as he seems to be able to cut them down by a huge marging compared to last year. The fact that he isn’t walking that much looks like he is putting the ball in play a lot, which is always a good thing. While he played a lot of 1B for Class A Cedar Rapids, he has been used exclusively in the outfield for the Miracle so far (12 games at CF and 1 at RF with one DH appearance).

14G, 49AB, 8R, 0HR, 6RBI, 6BB, 4K, .184/.281/.286

Since the lower minor leagues haven’t opened their season yet, there’s no news on the other players. The Frontier League, Markus Solbach’s playground wit the Windy City Thunderbolts, will open its season on May 16th.

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