Carlos Lopez, OF
Bi-weekly Stats: 17-47 (.361), 6 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 9/5 K/BB
Lopez is a Marlins draftee from 2013. After a decorated college career at Cal State Fullerton in which he hit .337/.408/.473 with 76 XBHs, 153 RBIs, 34 steals and a 94/76 K/BB, Lopez brought his talents to the majors where he just kept hitting. Fresh out of college a few weeks after the draft, Lopez began his Marlins career with at short season Batavia where he was the Muckdogs’ best hitter with a .318/.385/.417 slash line, 16 XBHs, and a 32/26 K/BB. Lopez’s bat continued to trend in the right direction during his first full professional season last year. Starting 130 of the Grasshoppers’ 140 games, Lopez was the best hitter on the team in all three slash categories (.323/.392/.438). He was second on the team to Felix Munoz in XBHs and RBIs with 39 and 74. His patience continued its excellence as he drew a team high 59 walks to 64 Ks. His 164 total hits set a Hoppers’ franchise record. Lopez’s fabulous year in Grasshopper garnett green and gold was rewarded by a promotion straight to AA this season. While he was a bit outmatched early this year going just 8 for his first 49, Lopez has adjusted like a champ. After a .179 April, he hit .277 in May. This month, he has become one of the biggest offensive contributors in the Suns’ lineup by way of a .375/.437/.578 line, nothing short of spectacular for a guy who did not get a single AB in A+. Lopez hits from the left side of the plate and has a fantastic approach to hitting allowing him to handle both RHPs and LHPs well.
Standing tall in the box in a straight away stance, Lopez sees the ball all the way to the barrell and keeps his quick hands pointed towards it. He snaps his bat through the zone with a prototypical line drive swing, the type of batted ball that has accounted for 24% of his total this season. He swings all the way through the baseball and maintains his power all the way through as well, keeping a two hand grip all the way through his follow through. The swing is fluid, repeatable and mechanically sound. Coupled with a great eye as well as plate presence and patience when he isn’t pressing, Lopez has some of the best offensive mechanics and approaches in the organization. It’s easy to get Lopez’s versatile bat in to the lineup thanks to his versatility on defense. He has eligibility at all three outfield spots as well as first base. Where he is of the most use is in right field thanks to a great arm. He uses great strength behind his online throws that carry. He also runs great routes with his plus speed. In his minor league career in right field, he has contributed 19 assists, posted a 1.8 range factor and a .975 fielding percentage.
Though he is in his final season of prospect eligibility and is a bit of a late bloomer being 25 and having yet to sniff AAA, there is a future for Lopez as much more than just an organizational guy. If he continues to swing the kind of bat he is swinging right now for much longer, a call up to AAA is a distinct possibility sooner rather than later. With continued success there, he could be a September call up to a Marlins squad which has very little outfield depth. If he enjoys a good cup of coffee, he will be on the team’s radar entering 2016.