The Mets didn’t just receive prospect Will Toffey or big league reliever Bobby Wahl when they traded bullpen stalwart Jeurys Familia to the Athletics last summer. They also acquired a million dollars of international spending capacity, $475K of which was used on Lugo. Born in January of 2002 and still just 17-years-old, Lugo signed last August and has yet to play in any official games. He’s in Florida with the Extended Spring Training group, with physicality and present power that are starting to turn heads.
Lugo has grown a good deal since signing, now 6-foot-3 and a large-bodied 215 pounds. He’s an impressive build with the look of a future slugger, and while he signed as a shortstop and still getting reps there, he’ll move to a corner fairly soon. His arm is close to average—enough for the left side of the infield—but a thick lower-half limits his first step and ability to finish plays on the run. At the plate, Lugo takes a strong cut with explosive pullside contact when squared. He crushes mistakes with advanced power that’s already showing up in game situations. Lugo’s shows big league raw even as a teen, and considering his size and remaining growth potential, it could get to the 55/60-grade range at maturity.
The hope is that he’ll hit enough to tap into it at higher levels, especially as it isn’t a lock he’s even a 3B long-term. Lugo is almost so broad that he might wind up on an outfield corner or even 1B, so what’s currently an age-appropriate, fastball-hunting approach will need to develop more contact on soft stuff while learning to use the big part of the field. Given how far away he still is and the lack of any pro track record, Lugo is the epitome of a lottery ticket at this time. Even so, his frame and power potential are very interesting and make him a definite prospect to follow.