blue jays minor league year in review

2021 Year In Review: INF Otto Lopez

Jays From the Couch Will Review Seasons Of Many, Hopefully, Most, Of The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects. Not Just The Top Prospects.

 


Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase

 

Otto Lopez

Signed as a free agent in 2016 out of Santo Domingo, D.R., Otto started his career as a member of the GCL Blue Jays in 2017. He posted a solid .275/.361/.360 slash in 51GP.

 

In 2018, Lopez played 7 games for the Bluefield Blue Jays before capping off a successful season with the Vancouver Canadians. Otto slashed .297/.390/.434 with 7 doubles, 4 triples, and 3HR in 51GP.

 

But in 2019, Otto Lopez really got on the prospect radar. The 21-yr-old spent the season as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts, playing 1-8 games. Our boy slashed .324/.371/.425 with 20 doubles, 5 triples, 5 home runs, and 20SB.

 

Otto Lopez did enough in 217 professional games and his time at Camp Covid to be added to the 40-man roster last November. He also showed enough to skip Advanced-A and start the season as a member of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

 

Month-By-Month

Otto Lopez played 22 games in May, slashing .348/.398/.461 with 10 doubles 3 stolen bases. He walked 7 times with 21 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. Lopez improved in June slashing .354/.421/.505 with 7 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, and a .926OPS. In 24 games, Otto walked 10 times and 18 strikeouts while going 50/50 with 3 stolen base attempts.

 

The 23-yr-old infielder had another successful month in July with a .299/.371/.414. He scored 15 runs, adding 7 more doubles and another home run. Otto walked 9 times with 22 strikeouts.

 

August was a very special month for Otto. He was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo on the 3rd and made his Major League debut against the Washington Nationals on the 17. Lopez struck out in his only major league at-bat while making three appearances as a defensive replacement. The 5-foot-10 infielder was returned to the Bisons on the 24th. Lopez finished August with a .247/.337/.315 slash with one double, two triples, and 5 stole bases while walking 7 times and striking out 9 times in 73 at-bats.

 

Otto Lopez played 22 games with Buffalo in September, collecting 7 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He stole 10 bases while slashing .333/.374/.500.

 

At the End Of the Day

 

In 70 Double-A games, Otto Lopez finished with a .331BA and .855OPS, collecting 24 doubles, a triple, and 3 home runs while driving in 39 and scoring 52 runs. He produced well above-average with .377wOBA and 136wRC+. His .126ISO was inline with his career norms while posting an insanely high .412BABIP. Lopez 19.7K% was a little high for someone with a low ISO and just 7SB.

 

At AAA, Lopez played 43 games where he batted .289 with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, and 15 stolen bases. He also drove in 25 runs, scoring 36 runs. The Bisons’ infielder saw his walk rate fall from 8.9% at AA to 6.7% at AAA. His K% improved to 13.4%. His posted a .333wOBA and 1.02wRC+ while finishing with a .324BABIP.

 

Best Game

On September 15th, Buffalo was facing off against Rochester in Rochester. Otto Lopez went 4-for-6 with 5 runs scored, 9 total bases with two doubles, and a home run. He also drove in two runs, walked once, and struck out twice. It was the 5th game with two doubles.

 

LHP vs RHP

The Blue Jays’ top prospect found equal success against both lefty and righty pitchers. Lopez batted .367 with a .899OPS against LHP and .321 with a .842OPS against RHP. He shows more power against RHP with all his home runs coming off righties.

 

Clutch or No

With the bases empty, Lopez batted .341 with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 3HR. With the bases loaded, he batted .100 with a single in 10 at-bats.  With RISP, Otto finished with a .302BA and .783OPS, driving in 34RBI with 9 doubles.

 

In the Field

 

With New Hampshire, Otto Lopez played 43 games at 2nd base, committing 8 errors while posting a .947FPCT. He also played 17 games in CF, 3 in LF, 3 in RF, 1 at SS, and 6 as a DH.

 

With Buffalo, Otto Lopez split his time between 2nd base and LF with 15 games at each position. Lopez appeared in 10 games at SS, 1GP in CF, and 2 as a DH.

 

Looking Ahead

 

Otto Lopez and  Santiago Espinal are very similar. Both players have wonderful bat control who put the ball in play, they have enough power to collect their share of extra-base hits while possessing the potential post decent averages while not striking out a tonne. For Lopez, putting the ball in play allows him to use his near-elite speed to get on base. I don’t see him as much of a stolen base threat in the majors but he was much improved in that regard during his time in Triple-A so it’s possible he still has room to grow in that area of his game. This speed has allowed him to take the extra base whether it is on a single or going 1st to 3rd or scoring from 2nd on a single.

 

Lopez could see time at 2nd base in Toronto in 2022 but not as the main option. It should be expected for Lopez to follow a similar path to playing time that Santiago Espinal followed. This requires Lopez to capitalize on sporadic playing time and professional at-bats until the opportunity arises to get consistent at-bats.

 

Ultimately, Otto Lopez should be expected to fill a depth role in 2022.

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO

* * * * *

Don’t Miss The LIVE Streaming Of Our Podcast Every Monday At 6pmET. Tune In On YouTube Or Facebook.

* * * * *

Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.