Boston Red Sox prospects: What to know about Matthew Lugo
Boston Red Sox prospect Matthew Lugo turned heads with his performance in spring training early on. The right-handed hitter went 4-for-10 with two doubles and one triple. He also drove in an impressive five runs.
The numbers got a lot of fans talking. Lugo's stock rose quickly. That made this the perfect time to get everyone acquainted with the 21-year-old.
Red Sox prospect Matthew Lugo turned heads during spring training
So what is there to know about Matthew Lugo? Well, the thing you probably heard the most this spring was that he is Carlos Beltran's nephew. That's a line I heard nearly every single away game Lugo played last year. Announcers ate that little fact up.
He's so much more than that, though. Lugo slashed .282/.338/.492 between High-A and Double-A last season. He smacked 28 doubles, 10 triples, and 18 home runs. Meanwhile, he drove in 79 runs, scored 77 more, and stole 20 bases.
Those are great numbers under any circumstances, but what really stood out was the massive power improvement. The year prior, Lugo posted a meager .364 slugging percentage (21 doubles, three triples, and four home runs over 418 at-bats). That type of power jump is the "progress" scouts dream of from their prospects.
Lugo is definitely an "offense first" prospect for the Red Sox. He has the ability to hit for a high average and pile up the extra-base hits. While not a speed demon, the dude can steal a base when needed. He can hit anywhere in the lineup and is an incredibly underrated run producer and clutch hitter. Lugo hit .310 (44-for-142) with runners in scoring position in High-A last season.
Defensively, the potential is there. Lugo had 33 errors in 928 innings between shortstop, third base, and second base last season. While that's still a lot, it's actually an improvement from 2021 (44 errors in 850.1 innings). He showed during limited spring training action that there is still room for growth, making 3 errors in 11 total chances between shortstop and third base.
Lugo has a strong arm and is a great athlete. He needs to cut back on some of the mental mistakes. If Lugo can do that, his defense will improve mightily. Probably never a gold glove caliber defender, but he can be "solid" at third, shortstop, and second base.
Spring training gave everyone a glimpse into the potential of Matthew Lugo. Be patient, though; has has only had 12 at-bats in Double-A. The Boston Red Sox have a full house of prospects at the shortstop position. Lugo is working on learning other positions, though. Meanwhile, his bat will continue to help him shine through.
If you loved what you saw from him this spring, keep an eye out for him this summer. I'll be sure to give you all the updates; don't expect to be disappointed.