Friday, February 09, 2007

Lugo Leading Off

As you may have heard, Tito recently confirmed that Lugo will be leading off this season. This isn’t a surprise, but should come as good news. Youkilis is a good OBP guy, but he’s slow and doesn’t have any power. Lugo should be able to set the table nicely in front of the big mashers.

The majority of Lugo’s playing time in 2006 came in the leadoff spot, where his OPS was a very strong .871. He also stole 18 bases at an 82% clip. You probably won’t see him stealing a lot, but he’ll score from first on a lot of doubles, which Youk can’t do much.

Also, you hear me talk about “clutch” a lot and Lugo had 55 at-bats in close and late situations last year and sported a Papi-esque .956 OPS. Take that, ARod!

A lot of people are concerned about how Lugo performed for the Dodgers, but that was a small sample size and an aberration when you look at his career progression and his age. Here’s how his OPS went in his last 3 years in Tampa Bay:

.734

.765

.871

His OBP is very solid and he doesn’t strikeout much. He has some pop, too, and can hit 10-20 dingers. This is a great guy to have leading off and I’m very optimistic about it.

2 comments:

Skootch said...

I agree with that completely. Having a base stealing, or at least run-scoring threat at lead-off is always a plus. And if Coco gets his hitting turned around, getting he (9th) and Lugo (leading off) on base ahead of Youk Manny and Papi has to be scary for pitchers.

Red Sox said...

Don't forget about Nancy Drew batting after Ortiz! I hope to soon have reason to stop calling him Nancy.