Phillies Prospect #33: Ebelin Lugo

The Phillies have to be pleased with how young Ebelin Lugo has handled the adjustments that he's had to face even while he's still just a teenager. The right-hander is moving slow and steady and taking in all he can along the way.

Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2006
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6' 2"   Weight: 170 pounds
Birth Date: April 23, 1990
2009 Team(s): Williamsport
Games/Games Started: 17 G / 0 GS
2009 Ranking: 37

Why Lugo moved to #33: Slow and steady is the phrase that best fits Ebelin Lugo. A product of the Phillies Dominican Summer League, Lugo made his U.S. debut in 2008 in the Gulf Coast League and then took the small step up to the New York - Penn League in 2009 and has continued to put up good numbers all along the way. It's pretty impressive the way he adapted in moving to the states as an 18 year old and hasn't really been fazed by all of the changes and adjustments that he's had to make along the way. After getting him experience as a starter in the DSL, the Phillies have transitioned Lugo into a reliever and as with all of the other adjustments that he's had to make, the move has gone without a hitch.

CATEGORY Ebelin Lugo New York - Penn League
ERA 3.21 3.49
H/9 IP 9.4 8.4
HR/9 IP 0.3 0.4
BB/9 IP 2.9 3.5
KO/9 IP 11.0 7.9
WHIP 1.37 1.30
WP/9 IP 0.8 0.6
A player's stat posted in white indicates that he performed above the league average in that category. A player's stat posted in black indicates that he performed below the league average in that category.

Repertoire: Lugo doesn't have a very deep repertoire, which is one of the reasons why he was funneled into the bullpen. His fastball is generally in the high-80s and he gets late, explosive movement on the pitch. He's progressed nicely with a slider and change-up, with the slider sitting out in front of where the development of his change-up is at this point in his career. It's likely that he'll primarily be a fastball/slider type pitcher with a change thrown in here and there for good measure.

Pitching Style: In the Dominican, Lugo was conscious of trying to pace himself as a starter and pitched to contact a little too much. As he developed his pitches better and was able to let go a little more as a reliever, he has become much more of a strikeout pitcher, taking his strikeouts-per-nine innings from 5 in the DSL to 11 last season with Williamsport. He's also dropped one walk-per-nine innings from his totals.

Projection: The season will already be a couple of weeks old when Lugo will celebrate his 30th birthday. He's shown enough progress in the short-season leagues that it's worth a shot to move him along to Lakewood to start the 2010 season and see how he can hold up in a full-season league. His appears destined to stay in the bullpen throughout his career and as he continues to develop, he could well become a set-up or closer caliber reliever if all goes well. He's going to have to do better at getting left-handed hitters out; they hit a combined .345 against him last season, while he held right-handers to just a .203 average. As his secondary pitches continue to develop, he should be stronger against right-handed hitters who won't be able to sit on his fastball as much. The good news is that no matter who he's facing, he keeps the ball down in the zone and over three seasons, has allowed just nine home runs, with only one of them coming last season.

Ebelin Lugo's career stats

2007 DSL 6 1 2.79 10 10 0 58.0 46 22 18 3 25 32
2008 GCL 3 1 3.82 13 3 0 33.0 37 17 14 5 11 32
2009 Williamsport 3 1 3.21 17 0 0 33.2 35 12 12 1 11 41
3 Seasons 12 3 3.18 40 13 0 124.2 118 51 44 9 47 105

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