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Julio Lugo is coming off a disappointing first season with the Red Sox. He was suppose to be the Sox leadoff man, but ended up bouncing around the lineup all season and hit a mere .237. Lugo will be looking to rebound this year as he becomes more comfortable playing on the big stage in Boston.
Offense: Grade C
As previously stated Lugo had a season I’m sure he would like to soon forget. His .237 batting average was the worst in the starting lineup and was also the worst of his career. Lugo is a career .271 hitter and did show signs of improvement in the playoffs where in the 14 games he hit .271.
We should look for Lugo to rebound this year and go back to hitting around .270. However, the Red Sox have shown they will move players, especially at the shortstop position until they find the right person for the job. So if we see another season like this in 2008, expect to see Lugo elsewhere in 2009.
Defense: Grade B-
Lugo’s defense was exactly what the Red Sox knew they were getting when they signed him. He averages 19 errors a season at shortstop and thats exactly how many errors he made this season. The reason he was signed is because he has excellent range and can get to balls that many other players at his position wouldn’t be able to get to.
His accuracy has been a problem at times and skipped a good amount of balls to Youkilis last season. He may have had more throwing errors if Kevin wasn’t a superior defensive first baseman. Expect another 20 errors for Lugo this season but also expect him to take away plenty of should be hits.
Baserunning: Grade A
Speed on the base paths gave the Red Sox a whole new weapon this year. Something that hadn’t been a part of Sox teams in the past. Lugo led the team in stolen bases this season with 33 out of 39 opportunities, which was 6th in the American League.
Having Lugo’s speed on the base paths gives the Sox more options in terms of a hit and run and keeps the middle infielders close because of the constant threat of a steal. Expect Lugo to steal another 35 bases this season and get many throws over to 1st to hold him on.
Clubhouse Presence: Grade B
Since this was his first year Lugo was never really heard from around the clubhouse. Players like Manny and Ortiz get most of the press and Varitek was the major voice and captain of the team. Lugo definitely comes across as a team first player though. While he was getting bounced around the lineup and sat at times for younger players to get some time in, you never heard him complain.
Lugo showed that he meshed well with the Sox laid back attitude and looks to have found his place with his teammates.
2008 Player Projection