Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospects: No. 36 Dawel Lugo

After four consecutive pitchers, a position player is next up on our top 50 prospects countdown…

Handed $1.3 million at 16 years of age, the Blue Jays are hoping for big things from Dawel Lugo. (BluebirdBanter.com)

No. 36: Dawel Lugo

Shortstop / 17 years old / 6’0″ 180 lbs

Born: December 13, 1994 in La Catalina, Bani, Dominican Republic

Bats Right   Throws Right

High School Team: N/A

College: N/A

Signed: July 4, 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays as an international free agent for $1.3 million

Pre-2011 Rank: N/A

Quick Facts:

  • Son of former Cleveland Indians prospect Ursino Leonardo Lugo
  • Favorite player is Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes
  • Body type resembles that of Wilson Betemit

Extra Information and previous experience:

When it comes to 17-year-old Dawel Lugo, it’s easy to see why the Blue Jays were quick to hand him a $1.3 million signing bonus, the largest bonus given to a Latin American infielder at the time in 2011.

The most noticeable thing about Lugo is that he’s a pure hitter. Touted as one of the better hitters out of last year’s international free agent class, he has good bat speed with a short stroke and makes consistent contact. He has great hand-eye coordination and can hit to all fields, whether the pitch is inside or outside the strike zone as well.

When information on Lugo first started getting released last spring, he was listed at six feet tall and 170 pounds. Since then, he has added a considerable amount of weight to his frame, as it’s been reported that he’s now up to 188 pounds with room to grow even more.

Baseball America reported that his solid swing had a natural loft to it, showing the potential for plus power down the road. Even though he’s at least a year or two away from showing his raw power, Lugo’s frame and potential to hit 15-20 home runs have spawned thoughts that he will likely move to third base early in his career. Baseball America agrees, since even though Lugo could be a playable, bigger-bodied shortstop like Jhonny Peralta, scouts believe he’ll make the move to third base.

Fielding-wise, Lugo has soft hands with an average to above-average arm and good instincts. He’s considered a below-average runner and somewhat slow on the base paths, though, and as you can tell in the video above, he runs somewhat awkwardly.

Coming from a baseball family, Lugo’s father and cousins all played professional baseball and he is praised for having a great makeup. He understands hitting, makes adjustments and, like most Dominican youngsters, has a genuine love for the game of baseball.

After playing in the Dominican Prospect League last year and for a traveling team in the United States, Lugo was in Dunedin, Fla. at the Blue Jays’ minor league complex for instructs. There, he worked on hitting fundamentals and fielding ground balls, but also spent the bulk of his time working on his English.

Lugo will likely play for the Blue Jays’ Dominican Summer League affiliate in 2012 while continuing to work hard on his English to get him ready for his Gulf Coast League debut in North America.

Expected 2012 Team: DSL Blue Jays (Dominican Summer League)

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Power-hitting third baseman

- JM

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Tags: Dawel Lugo Dominican Prospect League Toronto Blue Jays

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