Red Sox Prospects: Matthew Lugo

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In 1999, former big leaguer Carlos Beltran was with the Kansas City Royals.  Beltran decided he wanted to start a foundation where he could focus on low income children.  His foundation would raise money for organizations promoting education and sports. 

Photo courtesy of perfectgame.com
Beltran began donating 10 percent of his salary in 2005.  But he didn’t feel like that was enough. He decided that his family needed to do more for the youth in Puerto Rico.  Beltran wanted to create a school that focused on academic excellence and sports.  This was something he didn’t have available to him as a child in Puerto Rico. 

On August 18, 2011, Beltran opened the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.  He was able to live his dream as a big leaguer and now was able to give back to allow others just like him to have an opportunity to play the game he loves while getting an education. 

The Academy would go on to help produce a current Red Sox prospect. 

In 2018, the Red Sox lost their first round draft pick due to being over the luxury tax.  The club slid back 10 spots in the draft.  With the 69th selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected shortstop Matthew Lugo.  Lugo was a strong armed infielder who spent time at the Academy preparing for his journey into baseball. 

The young shortstop had options after being selected by the Red Sox.  He had to decide whether he wanted to become a professional baseball player or take the full scholarship to the University of Miami. 

Lugo, who is Carlos Beltrán’s nephew, put the classroom first and then baseball second.  Something his father said had always echoed to the young shortstop. 

MLB Kids Gear at Fanatics.comLugo’s decision wasn’t easy for someone who was only 18 when he was drafted by the Red Sox in 2018.  Lugo could join the University of Miami, something that former Red Sox manager Alex Cora did. 

Instead, Lugo joined the Red Sox in hopes to someday play for Cora.  He signed for $1.1 million in a draft slot that was valued at $929,800. 

“It would be an honor to get my name called in the Draft, because it’s something I have been working very hard for all of these years,” Lugo, 18, said to MLB.com.

Puerto Rico has produced shortstops over the years, most notably Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez, both stars in baseball.  Lugo, who is not the same player as those two, is hoping to take his game to the pros any way he can. 

Lugo projects as an all-around ball player.  He looks like he can project to be a five-tool shortstop, according to SoxProspects. 

Last season he was placed in the Gulf Coast league by the Red Sox.  Lugo also had a very short stint in Lowell as well.  Between the two stops, he played in 41 games, had 165 plate appearances and hit .247.  Lugo would play nine games at shortstop in his short stint as a professional baseball player. 

Lugo will turn 19 in May of this year.  He will be looking to project forward in a full complete season in the minors for the Red Sox. 

While his uncle faces scrutiny over the Astros sign stealing allegations from 2017, Beltran will hope to see his nephew begin to excel from his academy to the major leagues. 

“Matthew is a good and humble kid with tremendous ability, but the thing that impresses me most is his discipline and focus,” Beltran told MLB.com.  “To be so young and be so focused is good.  He’s aware of all the sacrifices you have to make to be a good player, and I think he has the right mentality to face the difficulties that come in pro ball.”

Lugo is a very talent young prospect in a system that chief baseball office Chaim Bloom is looking to rebuild as head of Red Sox baseball operations. 

No matter where he will play, Lugo has versatility to potentially play all over the diamond in the infield.  He has a high ceiling offensively and hopefully the Red Sox system can develop that. 

Going into the season, he ranks number 10 on the Red Sox top prospects list.  As a shortstop he’ll rank behind new top prospect Jeter Downs. 

As Lugo develops in the system, he has potential to transition from short to second or third.  As his bat develops, the Red Sox could have a future offensive star on their hands.  Until then, Lugo needs to work on filling out his frame and getting a better handle of off speed pitches at the minor league levels. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Prospects: Matthew Lugo
Red Sox Prospects: Matthew Lugo
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