|Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2006.|
|Bats: R Throws: R|
|Height: 6' 2" Weight: 170 lbs|
|Birth Date: April 23, 1990|
|2008 Team(s): Gulf Coast League|
|Games/Games Started: 13 G / 3 GS|
Ebelin Lugo came to the Phillies through their Dominican program and wasn't as raw as you might expect a 16 year old pitcher to be. He had the basics down, but needed some tweaking with his mechanics and the Phillies set out to do just that and make a few other adjustments that put him in a better position to get hitters out on a consistent basis. Lugo pitched for the Dominican Summer League Phillies as a 17 year old in 2007 and although there was still a little roughness to his game, Lugo showed enough so that the Phillies decided to use one of their visas on him to bring him to the states in 2008. His first assignment came, as expected, in the Gulf Coast League, where he pitched as both a starter and a reliever.
When he was brought to the Gulf Coast League, Lugo needed basically just to show that he could improve his strikeout numbers. Having struck out five hitters per nine innings in the DSL, the Phillies were hoping for a slight increase when they brought Lugo to the U.S. They saw the increase they were looking for when Lugo struck out 32 hitters in 33 innings of work. He also cut almost one walk per nine innings off of his numbers.
While he had a solid 3.82 ERA with the GCL Phillies, his WHIP of 1.45 last season is a little disconcerting, but when you factor in that this is an 18 year old kid, the numbers don't scare you too much. Just the fact that he improved his strikeout numbers, cut his walk numbers slightly and was simply able to get his feet wet in the states, Lugo had a great season.
Projection: There is a lot to like about Ebelin Lugo. He's taken quickly to the instruction that the Phillies have offered him and is showing improvement. He'll start the 2009 season in a short-season league and could even be back in the GCL for at least the early part of the season. The Phillies will also have to determine whether he'll ultimately be a starter or reliever. In the Dominican, he was working as a starter, but split his time between the rotation and bullpen - with an emphasis on the bullpen - last season in the GCL. Lugo is continuing to work on his secondary pitches and if he develops them, he'll likely cement his role as a starter.
Ebelin Lugo's Career Stats