- Full name Luis Eduardo Lugo
- Born 03/05/1994 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: L
Organization Prospect Rankings
Lugo, a native of Venezuela, blossomed in 2013 as a 19-year old at short-season Mahoning Valley. He built on that success as he advanced to full-season ball, but his progression hasn't been fast enough to earn him a spot on the 40-man roster, so the Indians left him exposed to the 2015 Rule 5 draft. He went unselected. Lugo's fastball sits around 90 mph, and he mixes it with a solid changeup and improving curveball. He has a good feel for the zone, and he throws all of his pitches for strikes. He has a big, athletic frame and has proven to be durable, throwing 252 innings over his first two years of full-season ball. With his combination of size, stuff and feel for pitching, Lugo has a chance to become a solid starter. He advances to Double-A Akron in 2016.
The Indians had a busy 2011 on the international market, spending an estimated $3.58 million in bonuses. Lugo accounted for $415,000 of that total and looks like the pick of the litter. It's easy to project on Lugo's athletic 6-foot-5 frame, so he should add velocity to his 90-92 mph fastball. He already gets a lot of out of the velocity he has and improved the consistency of his mechanics. He hides the ball well in his delivery and pumps strikes to the bottom half of the zone. His changeup gets plus grades and he has feel for all of his pitches, including an 11-to-5 curveball and a harder slider. His curve is ahead of his slider now, but both have the potential to be average. Lugo will move up to high Class A Lynchburg for 2015, and his ultimate upside is tied largely to how much velocity he adds.
Lugo took some extra time to find a landing spot after becoming eligible to sign with clubs in July 2010, eventually netting a $415,000 bonus from the Indians in February 2011. He was the youngest member of short-season Mahoning Valley's pitching staff in 2013 at age 19, yet he pitched like its ace, allowing one earned run or fewer in nine of 11 starts for the Scrappers. Something of a late bloomer, Lugo has physicality in his 6-foot-5 frame that sets him apart from most teenagers. He works mainly at 89-91 mph and tops out at 93 with his fastball, and his size and strength allow for projection, especially as he learns to use his lower half. He throws downhill and doesn't have any trouble throwing strikes. Lugo should have the repertoire to remain a starter. He needs to firm up his curveball, as he tends to just flip it up to the plate at times, but he flashes a 12-to-6 downer. He gets good arm speed on his changeup and shows some feel for using it. The Indians laud Lugo's pitching aptitude, and his English has come along well. After making a cameo with low Class A Lake County at the end of 2013, he'll head back there to open 2014.
Lugo became eligible to sign on July 2, 2010, but he developed late and didn't sign until the following year. One of the top pitchers on the 2011 international market, he landed a $415,000 bonus. Lugo has an extra-large, projectable body that should help him add to his present 88-92 mph fastball. His arm works well and he could eventually throw in the mid-90s. Lugo has the stuff to miss bats, though his curveball and changeup are still inconsistent. He's a good athlete for his size and scouts like his competitiveness, but his control needs to improve. At this point, Lugo is more about projection than polish, but there are a lot of ingredients to like if added velocity comes with increased physical maturity. Given his age and lack of experience, the Indians may want to keep his workload down, so he may end up in short-season Mahoning Valley in 2013. That would still put him in line to make his full-season debut at age 20.