The Mississippi Braves feature a lot of top prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization. However, Drew Lugbauer has made headlines with a strong April.
When one thinks of the Mississippi Braves, one first thinks of the Atlanta Braves top prospect, Michael Harris. Rightfully so, Harris has gotten off to a blistering hot start. However, Drew Lugbauer has made headlines with his great April.
Yes, Drew Lugbauer. Guys like Harris, Jesse Franklin, Cal Conley, Darius Vines, Jared Shuster, and others get all the attention from prospect rankings, but Lugbauer has kept his own for the first month.
Currently in 2021, he is hitting .260/.374/.584 7 HR, 18 R, 15 RBI, ,403 wOBA, and 148 wRC+. This includes a great eye at the plate, walking 14.3% of the time.
So, who is Drew Lugbauer exactly?
Drew Lugbauer has been around
- Hit: 35/45
- Game Power: 50/55
- Raw Power: 60/60
- Speed: 30/30
- Field: 40/45
- Arm: 55/55
Drew Lugbauer has been with the Atlanta Braves organization since 2017. He has never been ranked highly as a prospect within the system. He also has not appeared on either MLB or Fangraphs rankings since 2018 (30th in both).
Affectionately known as “Slugbauer,” he has been known for his light-tower power. Often hitting tape-measure home runs.
He just struggles to make contact, as seen by his 38.5% strikeout rate this season. His lowest strikeout rate at any stop was back in 2017 at rookie ball at 24.2% and it has been higher than 29% at every stop since.
It has been a glaring issue in his game. One that he attempts to make up with his 60-grade raw power.
The other issue is his defense. He was drafted as a catcher but has moved over to first base in recent years. He has also played third but has not logged any innings there since 2019. His defense is serviceable with a strong arm but it is nothing special.
Drew Lugbauer really benefits from the addition of the universal DH.
Already at 25-years-old, Lugbauer is an older prospect that may benefit from a promotion to Gwinnett at some point in the near future. The biggest issue facing him at the moment is there not being a spot for him on the big-league roster anytime soon.
However, if Drew Lugbauer continues to play well, it will be a good problem to have for the Braves. Someone could fall in love with the powerful left-handed bat that would make him an intriguing second or third piece in a trade.
He may never find himself back on a top prospects rankings but there is still some intrigue due to that power. It is only one month, so he will need to continue to perform at a high-level, but right now, Drew Lugbauer is doing everything he can do for a guy overlooked by many.