LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 11, 1991
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2009
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Lopez is a small lefty who’s never started a game through four years in the summer leagues. He’s steadily increased his strikeout rate in that time, but with small lefties in the VSL and DSL, a decent changeup is often what produces those swings and misses. Lopez throws only in the mid-80s.
Lopez struggled a little in his debut, although his peripheral numbers were better than his ERA.
Lopez showed some improvement in his second year. He started a trend that continued throughout his first four seasons: his walk and K rates both increased.
For some reason, Lopez got into two games in the DSL as well as 13 in the VSL.
The Pirates dropped their VSL affiliate after 2011, so Lopez moved to the DSL. He fanned over a batter an inning, but apparently at the cost of a high walk rate.
The Pirates sent Lopez initially to Jamestown, but he couldn’t throw strikes, walking 14 in 11.2 IP. They moved him down to the GCL and he got better results without dominating. His ERA was better than his other numbers. Overall, he had a huge reverse platoon split — .659 OPS by right-handed hitters and .935 by left-handed hitters — but the sample sizes are small. A lot of it was probably just happenstance, as Lopez had a batting average on balls in play of .203 against righties and .389 against lefties.
Lopez played the maximum four years in the Latin American summer leagues. As they often do with older players coming up from the DSL, they tried moving him straight to the New York-Penn League, but that didn’t work out. He was already eligible for the Rule 5 draft, although he obviously wasn’t selected. In 2014 the Pirates loaned him to Veracruz in the Mexican League. Other than a high K rate, he didn’t pitch well there and especially had trouble with walks.
It’s uncertain whether Lopez will return to one of the US affiliates in 2015 or stay in the Mexican League.
|2015: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2011
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|December 5, 2009: Signed as an international free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.|