Red Sox infield prospect Matthew Lugo has been named South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week of August August 15-21, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
In High-A Greenville’s last series on the road against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Lugo appeared in five games and went 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, four home runs, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored, two stolen bases, one walk, and six strikeouts. All four of those homers came during a two-game stretch on Friday and Saturday.
On the 2022 season as a whole, the right-handed hitter has batted .273/.328/.504 (119 wRC+) to go along with 23 doubles, nine triples, 17 home runs, 70 runs driven in, 66 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 29 walks, and 84 strikeouts across 97 games (437 plate appearances) with the Drive. That includes a .303/.370/.636 slash line in the month of August.
Among qualified South Atlantic League Hitters, Lugo ranks 12th in strikeout rate (19.2%), 16th in batting average, third in slugging percentage, 10th in OPS (.832), fourth in isolated power (.231), ninth in speed score (7.3), and 15th in wRC+, per FanGraphs.
Defensively, Lugo has seen playing time at every infield position besides first base while in Greenville. The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder has logged 626 2/3 innings at shortstop (his primary position), 94 innings at third base, and 58 innings at second base. He has committed a total of 24 errors.
The nephew of former All-Star outfielder 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 Manati native signed with Boston for $1.1 million.
Now 21 years old, Lugo is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system. Before the season started, Baseball America hypothesized that Lugo may spend the majority — if the not the entirety — of 2022 in Greenville.
Given that there are now only a few weeks remaining in the minor-league season, that could very well be the case. With that being said, though, Double-A Portland is scheduled to play six more games in Somerset, N.J. after Greenville’s season ends on September 11.
So, if the Red Sox wanted to, they could promote Lugo from Greenville to Portland in the coming days or weeks so that he could get a taste of the Double-A level since that is likely where he will open the 2023 campaign.
(Picture of Matthew Lugo: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)