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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-41, Dawel Lugo

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A leaner Lugo found success in 2016. But he needs to include more walks in his exercise regimen.

MLB: Spring Training-Kansas City Royals at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 41: Dawel Lugo

  • Date of birth: December 31, 1994
  • Ht/Wt: 6’0”, 190 lbs
  • Position: Infielder
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: DNP
  • SnakePit Rating: 3.88 [pattern of votes below]

The second-youngest player on the 40-man roster, Lugo turned 22 on the last day of 2016. He came to the D-backs in August 2015, when we traded Cliff Pennington to the Toronto Blue Jays. He started 2016 at High-A Visalia, and his solid numbers there (.863 OPS) resulted in a promotion around the All-Star break to Double-A Mobile. Dawel also batted well there, posting a line of .306/.322/.451, despite being three years younger than the average hitter in the Southern League. He could work on his plate discipline, having walked just four times in 177 PA for the BayBears. But on the other hand, he had only 15 strikeouts there, and his overall 2016 K rate was a career low of 11%.

His stock certainly improved considerably last year. Before the season John Sickels wrote that Lugo “is impatient, draws few walks, and lacks power. That’s not a good combination,” but called his 2016 campaign “very impressive”, saying Dawel “is getting to his power much more often this year, thanks to maturity and some tweaks” (Lugo lost about 15 lbs). A short-stop for Toronto, Lugo saw about 80% of his playing time at third last year. While that was mostly due to team-mate Domingo Leyba occupying short, Lugo did “a very good job at third,” according to Sickels, and a more detailed scouting report by Jeremy Rochford also makes this trade look pretty good for us.

Below, find a selection of his plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League last year, where Lugo hut .267 - though, as discussed above, his reluctance to take a walk continued, with only one base on balls in 90 PA there. That’s likely the area in which he needs to improve most in 2017.

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