DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers have called up infielder Dawel Lugo, a prospect acquired in the 2017 J.D. Martinez trade, to provide a spark to the offense.
Coming off back-to-back rough seasons in the minor leagues, Lugo is having a much better year in Triple-A Toledo. Through 32 games, he's batting .341 with a .393 on-base percentage and .468 slugging percentage.
The Tigers today have recalled INF Dawel Lugo from Triple A Toledo. — Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) May 16, 2019
Lugo has improved his walk rate this season, drawing 11 free passes compared with 24 strikeouts.
He doesn't have much extra-base power -- just eight doubles, one triple and two home runs this season -- but he's racked up 43 total hits to make up for the power deficiency.
Lugo played 27 games for the Tigers last season, hitting .213 with very little power. He finished the season with a .576 OPS, so it wasn't a particularly inspiring first stint.
The Tigers traded Martinez on July 18, 2017, for Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King. Of the three infielders, Lugo was the top prospect, ranking No. 4 in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization. Alcantara has since passed Lugo to become the team's No. 14 prospect. King is not ranked in the team's top 30.
After his struggles in 2017 and 2018, Lugo fell to No. 17 on the Tigers' list of top prospects. He's considered a good defensive infielder but not much of an offensive threat.
Lugo's call-up comes as the Tigers send third baseman Jeimer Candelario to Triple-A Toledo to figure out his swing. The team is desperate for an offensive spark, and now Lugo will get his opportunity.
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