19. Matthew Lugo (Shortstop)
The Red Sox selected the shortstop in the second-round of the 2019 draft. In a shortened season, he showed a lot of the potential that made him so highly-coveted.
Lugo is plus-potential at every facet of the game.
He has a great arm that will play great at shortstop. His fielding is already solid as well. It’s something that can get a lot better though. Lugo has good instincts and tends to make the first right step. He’ll end up making a lot of flashy plays and should be very reliable on the routine ones as well.
Lugo could absolutely find himself as a .300 hitter in the Majors. The right-handed hitter can put square up the ball regularly and has very good discipline for someone his age. In 2019 he hit .257 with a .337 OBP.
He also has great power potential. Lugo had five doubles, one triple and one home run in 144 at-bats last season. As he grows and develops, the swing will improve. Coupled with filling out his frame (6’1″, 185 lbs) could make him a 25-plus home run hitter. Meanwhile, the power and speed combination should make him flirt with 50-plus doubles quite often.
Speaking of speed, Lugo has it in spades. He could find himself stealing 20-plus bases with ease. Meanwhile, that will only make his defense at shortstop even better as his range will be fantastic. Of course, it could help him switch to another position a little easier as well if the Red Sox decide to go that route.
Last season, Lugo was 3-for-3 on steals. He also had 19 runs scored and 13 RBI. Those are all three categories that could be massive for the shortstop in his first full year in the minors next year. Of course, everything could see a major uptick.
However, due to his age (turns 19 on May 9), the Red Sox will want to take it slow with him. Even if he puts up strong numbers, he’s still a few years away from the Majors. No reason to rush him with Xander Bogaerts already at shortstop. Don’t be surprised if Lugo is pushing up the rankings and getting a lot more exposure sooner rather than later though.