Draft Prospect Breakdown: Gavin Lux
In what is widely considered a banner year in the Midwest, Wisconsin prep shortstop Gavin Lux—No. 36 on the BA500—is the top infield prospect in the region this year. He’s a slick-fielding, quick-twitch shortstop with a chance to develop into a true five-tool player. Lux was certainly in the picture before the spring, but as the Wisconsin weather heated up, so too did Lux’s draft stock.
“Being more physical and stronger has definitely helped a lot, especially with hitting and hitting for more power,” Lux said of his rise this spring.
His previously wiry 6-foot-2 frame packed on some muscle last offseason, and scouts noted his improved power this spring. Lux comes from a family of athletes. His uncle, Augie Schmidt, was the second overall pick in the 1982 draft by the Blue Jays. His mother played college volleyball and ran track, and his father played college soccer and wrestled. So, Lux’s athletic prowess is a result of nature and nurture. “He’s pretty much been my mentor, he’s pretty much taught me most of the things I know,” Lux said of his relationship with Augie Schmidt, who never reached the majors. Schmidt understands what it means to fail, and he's helped guide Gavin in the right direction.
“Not only with the physical and mechanical side of baseball, but also with the mental side ... you have to try to stay even-keeled because one day you could hit two home runs, and the next day you could strike out four times. So you can’t get caught up in the highs or lows.”
Lux participated in many of the top events along the summer showcase circuit as a rising senior. He was at the Perfect Game National Showcase, the Tournament of Stars and the Area Code Games, to name a few. He learned a lot over the summer, but he emphasized how that exposure to high-level pitching helped him develop an approach. He says he’s learned to focus more on studying pitchers, understanding what they’re trying to do to him and identifying their go-to pitches. These are the kinds of answers that most 18-year-olds don’t give when they’re asked about their game. Lux has a professional attitude and demeanor. Scouts and coaches rave about his makeup. And for as exciting as his character and work ethic are, he’s able to match them with his tools. The circumstances surrounding Lux's development to this point aren't exactly normal. He's had quality coaching and exposure to the type of competition that few cold-weather players have the opportunity to see. He's been nurtured into a top prospect. Lux’s hitting ability will be the biggest question for him to answer at the next level. He had a strong spring against Wisconsin prep pitching, but how Lux meets the challenges of next-level pitching will dictate his ultimate ceiling.
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On the showcase circuit, Lux was prone to swing and miss as he caught up to the speed of the game, and it remains to be seen how his added strength and bat speed will impact him when it comes time to play at the next level. As an athletic shortstop with good intangibles, he has a relatively high floor, though there is risk with any high school player. Lux attended a workout with the White Sox on Friday, then graduated from Indian Trail Academy (Kenosha, Wisc.) on Saturday. He hasn’t been able to attend as many workouts as he would have hoped to because of how late into the spring his high school season lasted. Lux will attend a private workout with a team picking in the teens on Tuesday. His helium this spring has put him in first-round consideration.