Before the minor-league season began, The Athletic’s Keith Law identified Matthew Lugo as a potential sleeper prospect within the Red Sox farm system. A little more than five weeks into the 2022 campaign, Lugo has shown why he is worthy of more recognition.
In High-A Greenville’s 6-3 loss to the Asheville Tourists at McCormick Field on Tuesday, one day after celebrating his 21st birthday, Lugo went 1-for-4 with his lone hit being an eighth-inning two-run home run.
Through 24 games with the Drives this season, the right-handed hitting shortstop has batted a stout .333/.385/.576 with eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, 19 RBIs, 16 runs scored, five stolen bases, six walks, and 17 strikeouts over 109 plate appearances.
Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Lugo ranks eighth in strikeout percentage (15.6%), fifth in batting average, 20th in on-base percentage, seventh in slugging percentage, eighth in OPS (.961), 14th in isolated power (.242), 20th in speed score (7.6), and seventh in wRC+ (155), per FanGraphs.
Defensively, the 6-foot-1, 185 pounder has seen all his playing time on the field this year come at shortstop. He has logged 203 1/3 innings at the position thus far and has committed six errors while turning five double plays.
The nephew of former big-leaguer Carlos Beltran, Lugo was originally selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. The Barceloneta native signed with the club for $1.1 million and made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League.
As things stand now, Lugo is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 14 prospect in Boston’s farm system. And, as noted in the above tweet, it certainly seems as though the 21-year-old will earn a promotion to Double-A Portland sooner rather than later.
(Picture of Matthew Lugo: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)