He was spotted by Mets scout Jimmy Nelson in the deep South & got an invite for a try out. The six foot four, right handed pitcher signed out of a Division 3 School (Centenary College of Louisiana) where he was signed in the 34th round of the 2011 draft, the 1032nd pick overall.
In 2011 he was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis which is a displacement of vertebra in the spine, it required ten hours of surgery for repair. After the procedure he was bed ridden for three months & recuperated at his mothers home.
Quotes: Lugo when he found out about the surgery- "Whoa. Hold on, I don't know if I want to do this. They kind of just reassured me it was a precaution they have to tell everyone. But that was the only time it really hit me that, whoa, this is a lot more serious than I thought."
As he recovered he could barely move for three months of bed rest. He missed all of the 2012 season & came back with a new focus. In 2013 he pitched at A ball Brooklyn going 2-4 for the Cyclones, before getting promoted to A ball Savannah.
In 2014 he was 8-3 with three saves, striking out 114 batters in 105 innings posting a 4.11 ERA with the A ball St. Lucie Mets. He became a promising young pitcher despite his odds to make it. He got promoted to the AA Binghamton Mets in 2015, going 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA. He struck out 97 batters & walked 30 in 109 innings pitched finishing 19 games for the AA Mets. He was promoted to AAA Las Vegas going 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA for the 51s. He was invited to the 2016 Mets Spring Training.
He started the year at AAA Las Vegas, not having a very good year. He went 3-4 with a 6.50 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 73 innings of work. The Mets still promoted him to the majors on June 30th.
He was sent back down on July 2nd, but returned four days later when Matt Harvey went down for the season. Lugo would pitch in relief until mid August when he turned his season around & helped the Mets capture the NL's top wild card spot. He had taken a relief loss in the subway series giving up a 10th inning run, and then took a loss in his first start which came in San Francisco against the Giants.
On September 4th, he pitched seven innings allowing just one run beating the Washington Nats at Citi Field 5-1. He followed that with a September 11th win at Atlanta beating the Braves & getting his record to 4-2, while lowering his ERA to 2.40.
He pitched well in his next two starts in whish the Mets won & closed out his season with a big win in Miami Florida, beating the Marlins on September 28th, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings while striking out just two & walking three.
Lugo was scheduled to pitch the NLDS, but the Mets lost the Wild Card game ending their season. Lugo was a big surprise in the Mets rotation, helping them catch the wild card spot. He went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA, striking out 45 batters & walking 21 in 64 innings pitched in 17 games.