As a young baseball player from Texas, it has always been Tristen Lutz’s dream to suit up in the burnt orange and white and play baseball collegiately at the University of Texas. A senior outfielder from Martin High School, Lutz’s wish could soon become a reality.
A member of the 2017 prep class, Lutz committed to the Longhorns on Sept. 3, 2015.
“It was an easy decision when it came down to it,” Lutz said. “I visited the campus and fell in love with it. Everything just seemed to fit.”
After the conclusion of the 2016 season, Texas reassigned baseball coach Augie Garrido – the winningest coach in college baseball history – to special assistant to the athletic director after 20 seasons at the helm.
Texas hired Tulane’s David Pierce as the new head coach last June and despite the coaching change, Lutz remained committed to Texas.
“It mattered a little bit, but when I talked to the coaches, I felt pretty comfortable with them,” Lutz said. “I liked what they were telling me. I honestly feel it is best for the university, and I think it will end up being a good thing.”
While Lutz could follow his dream of playing at Texas, he also could go straight out of high school into professional baseball.
Ranked as the 60th-best prep prospect in 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Baseball America, Lutz is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound outfielder who is an above-average hitter and possesses respectable speed.
Lutz has spent the off-season improving his defense, working on reading the ball off the bat to help with his routes to the ball, he said.
Besides working on his game, he also participated in the Area Code Games, which is designed for top prep players in the country to play against each other, showcasing their abilities in front of professional scouts over a five-day period.
Lutz relished the opportunity to compete with and against other top prep players from around the country.
“Getting to compete against the talent is a challenge, but something I really enjoyed,” Lutz said. “I think it should make you play a little better playing against the top talent. I think you can look at the best players in the country and compare yourself, learn and meet new people.”
Lutz said he’s comfortable playing in front of scouts and isn’t worried about them attending his games this spring in preparation for the draft. Instead, he’s only focused on what he can control and hasn’t put any thought into if he will turn pro in June or attend Texas in the fall.
“Ultimately, I just want to do what’s best for the team to win,” Lutz said. “I feel like if the team is winning, you are usually playing good. I just want to help the team win and stay consistent throughout the year.”
(Video of Tristen Lutz by FanGraphs)
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