Jacob Lopez, LHP, TA

When prospect hounds look at new names, always in the back of our minds is the hope that we might find our Holy Grail. Let’s see how close Jacob Lopez comes to the mark.

Video courtesy of Perth Heat Baseball
  • Born: March 11, 1998
  • B/T: Left/Left
  • 6’4″, 220-lbs
  • Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft from the College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, CA)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

When I look at the four key measurements for minor league pitchers, I color code as being Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor, and green (obviously) is Excellent, while blue is Good. For me the Holy Grail of pitcher prospects is an all green board across levels.

In 2021, Jacob Lopez spent most of his time in High-A, and recently got bumped to AA (good thing, as he is 23 and should be at that level, but hey, 2020 held all of us back in some way or another). In 2018, Lopez was all green, but that was just Rookie ball. In 2019 he didn’t strike out enough to go all green. In 2021, he was one freakin’ walk above the mark that would have made him all green for the entire season! Yes, if he had walked 16 batters in High-A instead of 17, it would have been all green. One minor league umpire judgment call from the Holy Grail…

Still, very impressive, Mr. Lopez.

Can’t go much on five innings in AA, but we can see that he walks more righties than lefties, but held them to a lower WHIP and struck them out at a greater clip. He was dominant against everyone at High-A except the umpires.

Righties are pulling the doubles, but the home runs are spread out. Savant doesn’t have 2021 data for Lopez unfortunately.

Same story, just 2019 data, but we know from the chart above that his K-BB% rate in 2021 was off the chart (literally, in this case).

The Scouts

Warnings

It’s the Rays, so a MIRP outcome is not out of the question.

The scouts haven’t focused on him that much, and at age 23 and now in AA, the time is now or never for them to weigh in or else forever hold their peace.

Conclusion

He has two plus pitches, and a developing changeup. High-A batters were no match for him, and of the 20 batters he’s face in AA so far, he struck out eight of them while only walking one. In short, he’s facing his challenges and dominating (so far).

Will Jacob Lopez find his grail? I think a Major League career is almost certain at this point, but we don’t know in which capacity.

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