Former MLB shortstop Julio Lugo has died, his family has told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. The cause of death is believed to be a heart attack. Lugo, who was 45, was set to turn 46 on Tuesday.
Lugo spent parts of 12 seasons (2000-2011) in Major League Baseball and ended up being a bit of a journeyman. He played for the Astros for parts of four seasons then the Rays for parts of four seasons. He later spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox and had one-year-or-fewer stints with the Dodgers, Braves, Orioles and Cardinals.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Lugo went to high school in Brooklyn and then played for Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma. He was drafted in the 43rd round in 1994. Starting in Low-A ball in 1995, Lugo advanced slowly but steadily through the minors and debuted in the majors in 2000 at age 24.
In his 12 years, Lugo hit .269/.333/.384 (87 OPS+) with 1,279 hits, 238 doubles, 34 triples, 80 home runs, 475 RBI, 688 runs, 198 stolen bases and 13.5 WAR. He was the Red Sox's everyday shortstop in 2007 when they won the World Series. During that four-game Fall Classic sweep of the Rockies, Lugo was 5 for 13 (.385) with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
After his final MLB game, Lugo kept playing, taking part in the Dominican Winter League, the Caribbean Series and then independent ball in 2013.