Luis Lugo Scouting Report (2014)
Indians Prospect Insider ranked left-hander Luis Lugo its 12th best prospect for 2014. It’s the second consecutive year the prospect has ranked in the organization’s top-25. Bob Usselman highlighted him as a player to watch for the 2014 Lake County Captains in a recent scouting preview, so let’s add some color to the outline. With Lake County being a home park for Midwest League baseball, look for updated on Lugo throughout the season via YOUscout.
Tall and lean at 6′-5″ and 200 pounds, Luis Lugo has an excellent pitcher’s frame with big shoulders, a high waist, and a strong base. He’s starting to fill out his frame, but there remains plenty of room to add muscle to his upper half. Solid athleticism completes the picture. As Lugo matures, that additional strength will help him pitch deep into games.
Lugo employs a slow windup with a high leg kick, starting his hip slide and hand separation as he reaches the apex. From there he takes a big stride and creates some separation between his hips and trunk. Even with the lengthy stride, he manages to land firmly on a flat plant foot. He has a full arm circle that momentarily puts his elbow in an awkward position slightly above his left shoulder before arriving at a better position as his foot strikes the ground. The glove folds neatly into his body as he gets good extension and delivers from a high 3/4 arm slot. His arm fully finishes and is allowed to decelerate naturally outside his plant leg. The tempo improves after the leg kick but remains a bit slow overall. It’s a low effort motion with a loose arm action that Lugo repeats well.
Luis Lugo throws both the two-seam and four-seam variety of fastball. They each sit 88-89 MPH and maintain that velocity throughout the game. The four-seam features slight cutting action when located to his glove-side portion of the plate, and straightens up when it stays arm-side. Whether purposefully manipulating the pitch for this effect or if he’s just getting around on it slightly, the cut action adds an additional wrinkle that serves him well. The two-seam’s movement is more consistent with late run and some sink. The interplay between the two diverging flight paths and a nearly even distribution of each variety — a roughly 55/45 split favoring the four-seam — helps Lugo effectively pitch off of his fastball. With the projection in his frame and good, but not elite, arm speed, Lugo should add a couple of ticks to his fastball as he matures.
- Velocity High: 90 MPH
- Velocity Low: 87 MPH
- Velocity Avg: 88.7 MPH
- Count: 31*
- Strike Pct.: 70.0%
- Swinging Strike Pct.: 13.3%
Sitting at 72-73 MPH, Luis Lugo’s 1-7 curve ball comes out of his hand smoothly but shows inconsistent quality from pitch to pitch. The best of them feature tight spin, sharp break, and good depth, but Lugo only threw a couple that really fit that billing — the standout being the lone 75 MPH offering. With others, Lugo shows a couple of different patterns: the first miss stems from him not fully finishing the pitch, leaving it up arm side with a more steady break; the second being a tendency to pull the pitch downward, losing shape and break during the process. Lugo threw the curve later in the count and to both right-handed and left-handed hitters. He had no success tempting hitters to chase it out of the zone, but he did manage to fool batters into taking well placed breakers on the edges for strikes — only one swing, resulting in a foul ball down the third base line, was attempted at the eight offerings. The good impression of the few outweighs the inconsistency of the many. With more refinement the curveball will turn into a legitimate out pitch for Luis Lugo.
- Velocity High: 75 MPH
- Velocity Low: 72 MPH
- Velocity Avg: 72.8 MPH
- Count: 8*
- Strike Pct.: 50.0%
- Swinging Strike Pct.: 0.0%
The change-up is currently a step ahead of the curveball, showing more consistent movement and better overall feel. The shape is similar to the two-seam fastball with late fade and dropping action, but the quality of that action will vary. Lugo does a good job of maintaining arm speed and deceiving the batter; only one offering generated a swing and miss, but most of the contact against the pitch came via off-balanced swings. It is a serviceable weapon that plays off of the two-seam and should prove to be average with time.
- Velocity High: 83 MPH
- Velocity Low: 81 MPH
- Velocity Avg: 82.0 MPH
- Count: 12*
- Strike Pct.: 72.7%
- Swinging Strike Pct.: 8.3%
Command & Control:
Lugo established that he can throw all of his pitches for strikes. He will miss drastically with a few fastballs and curves, but more often than not the pitch finds the strike zone. Command within that zone is a more difficult task. He moves his fastball around well, but it is thrown to a general region more than consistently to the glove. For every well located pitch, there is another that misses substantially. This proves to be true with the offspeeds as well. As a 19 year old playing short season baseball, this is to be expected. The ability to replicate his delivery will lead to more consistent command.
There is a lot to like in Luis Lugo’s profile. He has a great frame, displays the makings of three average or better pitches, and repeats his delivery. He mixes in all of his pitches to both right and left handed batters and shows aptitude for keeping them off balance. The danger is that much relies on his projection. He currently lacks an out pitch, and his best hope for one requires the most refinement.
Luis Lugo’s Tools:
Tool Present Future Projected Role Mid to Back of the Rotation Starter Fastball 5 6 Curve Ball 3 5 Change-up 4 5 Control 5 6 Command 3 5
*Please note that this does not constitute every pitch that Lugo threw during the evening. I spent the third inning on the first base side filming (all of these pitches were excluded) and missed a few readings from the remaining innings.
I additionally want to thank Tim Pozsgai of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for granting me access and making this Luis Lugo scouting report possible.
26 Mar 2014 / Jeff Reese /
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