Tony Lastoria showcases Cleveland Indians left-handed pitching prospect Luis Lugo
By TONY LASTORIAFS Ohio
Name: Luis Lugo
Position: Left-handed pitcher
Current team: Short season Single-A Mahoning Valley
2013 stats: No stats
Facts & Info: The Indians signed Lugo in February of 2011 out of Venezuela for about $415,000. Last season he finished tied for 9th in the Arizona League in games started (11) and 13th in strikeouts (51). He has been playing in extended spring training getting ready for short season league action which kicks up this week.
The Stuff: Lugo is a big bodied left-handed pitcher that has an impressive frame and good size. He features an 88-91 MPH fastball that touches 92 MPH, and he has the arm strength and physical potential to add more velocity as he matures. The ball comes out of his hand well and he has some deception as his fastball jumps up on hitters, and while his fastball lacks movement he does a good job of getting it on a downhill plane. He complements the fastball with a curveball and changeup and both need a lot of work, although both have potential to be average pitches.
The Delivery: In addition to his repertoire, what makes Lugo so intriguing is his strike throwing ability at a young age and the deception he creates from the left side, which help his stuff play up. His size, stuff, pitching mechanics and consistency all point towards a real future in the rotation. He shows advanced, smooth mechanics in his delivery for his age with a loose arm and good, clean arm action with good arm strength.
The Intangibles: Lugo has a good understanding of pitching mechanics, is not afraid to ask questions, and is very coachable. He has a lot of aptitude and good poise on the mound, and is bilingual where he speaks very good English from a program he studied under in Venezuela.
Opportunities: While Lugo shows a good feel for pitching, he is still very raw with his stuff and will need time and patience. Right now it is about getting him more consistent with his fastball command and increasing his strength and endurance to throw more innings and deeper into the season. He has a pretty good curveball that he is refining as it is a little big, so and he is shortening it up a little bit and working to throw it for strikes and get some swing and miss with it.
Outlook: Lugo has all the ingredients to be a Major League starting pitcher, but he is so young and inexperienced that the Indians are just trying to put it all together right now. He has major upside as a prospect and as he develops he has the potential to be a middle of the rotation starting pitching prospect, maybe even more. He is set to begin his season this coming week at Mahoning Valley.