Join Jays From the Couch as we highlight the 2019 season Lansing’s Otto Lopez and Dominic Summer League Gabriel Martinez.
Signed as an International Free Agent on Jul 4th, 2016 out of Santo Domingo, D.R., Otto Lopez made his professional debut in 2017. He bypassed the Dominican Summer League, becoming a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. He posted a strong .275/.361/.360 triple slash with 6 doubles, 3 triples, and a HR in 51GP. In 2018, Otto Lopez made quick work of Appy league with the Bluefield Blue Jays, lasting just 7 games. Lopez would play 51 games with Vancouver in 2018, posting a .299BA with 7 doubles, 4 triples, and 4HR. He showed an ability to get on-base with a .390OBP and to impact the game with 14SB in 19 attempts.
Leading up to the 2019 season, Lopez had yet to hammer down steady playing time at a single position. Playing all over the field isn’t a bad skill to have in today’s game; however, it could also impact a prospect’s playing time when moving through the system. With Jordan Groshans out for most of the season, Otto Lopez spent much of his time at SS (82GP) but also played 2nd base (19GP), LF (11GP), and RF (1GP).
Getting his first taste of Full-Season A-Ball, Lopez played one more game (108GP) in 2019 than he had the previous two season (107GP). He would have played more without a 19 day trip to the IL between June 2nd and June 21st. Lopez quickly established himself as a top of the order bat, batting leadoff in 54 games and 2nd in 35 games. With Reggie Pruitt in the lineup, Otto would drop into the 2-hole to take advantage of Pruitt’s superior speed.
Otto Lopez batted over .300 in every month except April and July. In 20 games, Lopez batted .296 with 4 doubles, a HR, 5-for-8 SB, and 10/19 BB/K in April. He followed up a strong first month with an even better May, batting .310 with 3 doubles, two triples, a HR, 5-for-11 SB, and 9/12 BB/K in 26 games. Lopez missed most of June but batted .379 with one HR in limited action. In 25 July games, the 20-yr-old batted .294 with 5 doubles, a triple, one HR, 4-for-7 SB, and 4/15 BB/K.
In the final month, Otto Lopez played a career 27 games. He batted .367 with 5 doubles, a triple, one HR, 3-for-6 SB, and 8/12 BB/K in August. Overall, Lopez led the Midwest League with a .324 batting average while producing a .371OBP and .425SLG. He led the Lugnuts with 61 runs while collecting 20 doubles, 5 triples, 5 HR, 20SB, and 15CS. Otto Lopez produced well above the league average with a .370wOBA and 132wRC+.
I think we will see Lopez attempt less steals next season with a 57% success rate.
The 5-foot-10 infielder saw his K% climb slightly from 10.2% up to 12.8% while his BB% dropped from 12.6% to 6.9%. Lopez’ groundball rate increased from 49% to 54.0GB% with a 1.97 GB/FB ratio. Otto drove the ball well for the Lugnuts posting a 18.6LD%. He pulled the ball 43% with a 32.8oppo%.
Home: .307BA with 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 31RBI, and a .725OPS
Away: .345BA with 12 2B, 4 3B, 3HR, 19RBI, and .881OPS
Most Productive Game
July 31st, Otto Lopez went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, a double, a triple, a walk, and a pair of runs batted in. A total of 7 bases. Lopez also collected 7 total bases on July 15th and had one other 4-hit game on August 23rd. He drove in 3RBI twice and scored three runs once.
Otto Lopez easily did enough to earn a promotion in 2019; therefore, it’s a safe bet that he will begin the 2020 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Jordan Groshans will determine which position Otto Lopez will play in 2020. A healthy Groshans will play every day at SS which will push Lopez over to 2B or back into a utility role.
Rule 5: 2020
RF Gabriel Martinez
An International Free Agent signed on July 24th, 2018, Martinez spent his rookie season with the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays. He batted .239 with 13 doubles, two triples, and 2HR. He also showed a decent eye at the plate with 21 walks and 26 strikeouts in 58GP. He led the club in GP, 2B, HR, RBI, and TB (74).
His good plate discipline and power were rewarded with 20 starts in the leadoff spot and 21 starts in the 4th spot. He had more success in the 4th spot with a .321/.371/.436 triple slash line.
The native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, requires more development stealing bases with 8 stolen bases but 9 caught stealing. His best month was June. Martinez batted .240 and posted a .676OPS with 6 doubles, a triple, 10RBI, 9BB, and 10K in 20 games.
G-Mart produced around league average with a .327wOBA and 88wRC+. He didn’t hit for much power with a .108ISO and posted a .259BABIP. Gabriel finished with a nice 8.6BB% and 10.6K%.
Gabriel Martinez played 44 games at RF with 8 outfield assists, 5 doubles, and an error. He also appeared in 3 games in LF and 7 games in CF.
Home: .224BA with 4 2B, 1 3B, 1HR, 11RBI, and .623OPS
Away: .252BA with 9 2B, 1 3B, 1HR, 17RBI, and .699OPS
LHP: .125/.125/.125 (24AB)
Most Productive Game
On July 17th, the 6-foot-0 outfielder went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, two doubles, 3RBI, and 6 total bases. He had three 3-hit games, one game with 3 runs scored, one other game with two doubles, and one other game with 3RBI.
The batting average and ISO was not where you’d like but the same can be said about many DSL Blue Jays this season. The 17-yr-old Martinez may need some more time in the DSL in 2020.
Featured image credit: R.Mueller
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