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Free Agent Profile: Julio Lugo

Julio Lugo

Julio Lugo did a little bit of everything this season.  He hit in every spot of the batting order and played 5 different defensive positions; there’s not a lot of players who can claim to have done that.  Unfortunately, Lugo also experienced a slip at the plate in 2006 from his excellent 2005 numbers, and that doesn’t bode too well for his hopes as a free agent.  Still, the veteran Lugo who is celebrating his 31st birthday today, will likely get plenty of interest during the offseason. 

Here are Lugo’s statistics for 2006…

  • Batting Average: .278
  • On-Base Percentage: .341
  • Slugging Percentage: .421
  • OPS: .762 — OBP, SLG, and OPS were all better than career #’s
  • Doubles: 22 — fewest 2B’s since 2003
  • Triples: 2
  • Homeruns: 12
  • RBI: 37 — fewest since 2002
  • Runs: 69
  • Stolen Bases/Caught Stealing: 24/9 — terrific speed
  • Walks: 39
  • Strikeouts: 76

Compared to his 2005 statistics, the 2006 numbers for Lugo are not good, in fact, they show a severe slip in just about every department.  He still showed excellent speed and baserunning skills, but Lugo disappointed in lots of offensive categories from RBI’s to Doubles this season.  GM’s will certainly be cautious about signing him unless they can determine exactly what led to the slip.  GM’s opinion of whether Lugo is in fact a great hitter or if 2005 was a fluke will determine his value this offseason. 

For some more numbers, here are Lugo’s situational statistics…

  • Bases Empty: .280/.346/.399
  • Runners On: .275/.331/.463
  • RISP: .215/.286/.291 — YUCK
  • RISP w/2 outs: .229/.325/.229 — Disgusting
  • Bases Loaded: .200/.429/.200

Need any more reason to be concerned about Lugo’s 2006?   Well, those situational stats certainly provided it.  Julio Lugo did absolutely nothing with Runners in Scoring Position this season, getting only 3 extra-base hits in that situation.  His numbers with the bases empty are acceptable, but they matter much less.  If he can’t show the ability to produce in clutch situations, there’s no reason for any teams to show strong interest in Lugo. 

Perhaps Lugo’s split stats will help his case…

  • Vs. Lefties: .263/.318/.398
  • Vs. Righties: .284/.349/.429 — much better against RHP
  • Home (Dodgers Stadium/Tropicana Field): .267/.346/.422
  • Away: .286/.337/.419
  • Day Games: .280/.336/.464
  • Night Games: .277/.343/.403

Those splits are none-too-spectacular.  Julio Lugo really doesn’t have a lot to show for himself statistically this season.  Here’s another revealing stat…

  • Pre All-Star Break: .300/.369/.477 — excellent
  • Post All-Star Break: .253/.307/.354 — far from it — .661OPS — AWFUL

I don’t know what happened to Julio Lugo during the All-Star Break, but something went terribly wrong.  After leaving Tampa Bay to go to the Dodgers, he did absolutely nothing.  Need evidence of that…?

  • With Tampa Bay: .308/.373/.498
  • With Los Angeles: .219/.278/.267

Chavez Ravine was not a good home for Julio Lugo.  The Dodgers used him at almost every position imaginable, and he did okay defensively, but Lugo more than erased that with his dismal offensive production.  He might have been the worst midseason acquisition of the year, and Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti probably regrets that move greatly. 

Will anyone still want Julio Lugo?

Lugo’s 2006 decline could mean one of two things for the team that scoops him up.  He could either become one of the biggest steals of the offseason or he could continue his dud-ly ways and become the biggest bust of the Winter.  That seems to be a risk some GM’s are willing to take as Lugo is drawing plenty of interest from the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, Cubs, and Rangers. 

My Prediction: Julio Lugo will sign a 3year deal worth 21Million to join the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Stats Prediction: Julio Lugo won’t quite be a lemon, but he won’t come close to regaining his 2005 form.  I expect something to the tune of .280/.340/.440 with about 14HR and 60RBI, as well as 25SB’s. 

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Tomorrow’s Profile: Tom Glavine

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Today’s Moves…

The Cubs and White Sox swapped relief pitchers today, with Neal Cotts moving to the Cubbies, for David Aardsma and Carlos Vazquez, who joined the ChiSox. 

The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Frank Thomas on a 2year deal worth 18Million, plus a club option for 2009.  The deal hinges on a physical which Thomas will soon take.  Should the Big Hurt pass his physical, he will provide an important addition to a Blue Jays lineup which is rapidly gaining ground on the powerhouses of New York and Boston. 

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Trivia!

Yesterday’s question was…

What MLB award did Gil Meche win in 2003?

The correct answer…

Gil Meche was the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2003

Today’s question is…

Julio Lugo’s brother Ruddy Lugo is a reliever for which team?

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