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parrothead

Reynaldo Lopez 2019 Outlook

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By some rankings Lopez was a top 30 overall prospect in the minors, obviously was part of the big Eaton trade to the South Side.   Has been a bit of a disappointment thus far, but I really like him as a value play heading into 2019.  Even in a somewhat disappointing year, he was able to log 188 innings which was 24th best in baseball as openers get used and starters go shorter and shorter having an innings eater with a ceiling is not a bad place to be. 

 

The end of his 2018 should have some looking at him as a breakout candidate, but even in the Pods I listen to, I have heard his name mentioned when they talk about X player is being drafted near player Y, Z etc and one of those is Lopez, but I think they are missing out. 

 

So looking at his last 10 starts going back to August 7th, this guy was pretty lights out.  Now, he had 1 stinker, so lets look at his numbers in 9 of those 10 starts. 

In those 9 starts he rocked a 1.87ERA  and a 1.00WHIP.  he was right at a K per inning and ended the season with 6 straight quality starts.  

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29 minutes ago, parrothead said:

By some rankings Lopez was a top 30 overall prospect in the minors, obviously was part of the big Eaton trade to the South Side.   Has been a bit of a disappointment thus far, but I really like him as a value play heading into 2019.  Even in a somewhat disappointing year, he was able to log 188 innings which was 24th best in baseball as openers get used and starters go shorter and shorter having an innings eater with a ceiling is not a bad place to be. 

 

The end of his 2018 should have some looking at him as a breakout candidate, but even in the Pods I listen to, I have heard his name mentioned when they talk about X player is being drafted near player Y, Z etc and one of those is Lopez, but I think they are missing out. 

 

So looking at his last 10 starts going back to August 7th, this guy was pretty lights out.  Now, he had 1 stinker, so lets look at his numbers in 9 of those 10 starts. 

In those 9 starts he rocked a 1.87ERA  and a 1.00WHIP.  he was right at a K per inning and ended the season with 6 straight quality starts.  

 

Even if you look at the 10 as a whole, he had a 2.72 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 1.06 WHIP. 

 

Before that: 4.47 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 1.37 WHIP.

 

I've always really liked his fastball. It seems to have really nice movement, and seems to be hard to square up. Even in his bad sample, the earlier season sample, he allowed a low fairly low BABIP. Generated a 14.4 Pop-Up%. That's really impressive, and a lot of free outs in the infield. It's actually 4th in baseball, with a ridiculous Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander list in front of him. It isn't a huge corroborating sample, but his 8 GS sample in 2017 had a higher Pop-Up%, and the second half had a higher Pop-Up% than the first half, even if ever so slightly. 

 

For almost every pitcher it's command, command, command, because if you don't have command or throw the ball too straight, you get those guys who always have decent FIPs but get lit up. I think, with the movement and 96 MPH velo on Reynaldo's fastball, he's just got to keep it in the zone. 

 

His only pitch that was statistically working the whole season was his Slider. His 4SFB had a much higher SLG, much lower Whiff% in that first half, and same with the Change-Up. His Curve even had similar improvements, though that is a not very often used pitch in his repertoire. 

 

I can believe in guys who change like Reynaldo did at the end of the season quickly. I don't necessarily believe in people holding onto improvements through the offseason all the time. But I think he's worth the draft pick, and based on a few starts if his K/BB represents closer to the 6/4 than the 9/3, it may be time to move on, or if it's the latter, you may have a steal. 

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I like him too, well at least for where he's going 70-80th overall. I'd still take him over guys in the "60's" like Wood, Salazar, Stroman, Quintana to name a few.

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Currently, I see Lopez as a SP5 in fantasy baseball. It looks to me like his changeup is his best pitch. Basically, he relies on his good movement on all of his pitches to be effective. His game time FB sits around 91-92 mph. I'm not overly enthusiastic about his upside but he may be worth a flier. I think his ceiling is SP3 at best.

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8 minutes ago, BCMarch10 said:

Currently, I see Lopez as a SP5 in fantasy baseball. It looks to me like his changeup is his best pitch. Basically, he relies on his good movement on all of his pitches to be effective. His game time FB sits around 91-92 mph. I'm not overly enthusiastic about his upside but he may be worth a flier. I think his ceiling is SP3 at best.

 

I don't agree with any of this... including parts that aren't really an opinion. 

 

Starting with the non-opinion, his Average 4SFB velo according to brooksbaseball last year was 96.00 MPH. Fangraphs combines his 4SFB and SInker and has it at 95.5 MPH. He does not "sit" at 91-92 MPH. He rarely is below 94 and ramps up to 97+, and his highest Velo pitch on Brooks was measured at 99.88 MPH. This is just an inaccuracy. 

 

His change-up, while it did perform well like all of his pitches during his end-of-year stretch, has not at least statistically been close to his best pitch, and is a true 3rd offering in my scout profile. Reynaldo Lopez's best pitch, IMO and more influenced by watching him pitch, his his fastball. His fastball can be quite nasty when scorching with movement at 94-97. HIs second best pitch is his Slider, which he uses second most, had the highest whiff%, and surrendered the lowest SLG% of all his pitches. 

 

I don't think his ceiling is capped as an SP3. He has all the tools to be an SP2 or better. There was nothing that wasn't in-line with a borderline SP1 in terms of dominance and effectiveness over the 10 GS streak referenced in the first post. To say that level of performance is to be expected is an error, but to say that level of performance is impossible is also a large error. 

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I would also argue that when all of his pitches are being commanded well, it’s his changeup that wows me the most.  On his best nights he reminded me of a young Pedro. Seeing him throw 98 mph bullets only to back them up with an 81 mph fall of the table change to grab a k was some of the most fun I had watching anyone pitch last year. The slider can be a ++ pitch as well when he’s got a good feel for it.  Of course, any pitcher as highly touted as he’s been will have wow moments like that. He’s just got to be more consistent. I soured on him last year because I couldn’t deal with the inconsistency. I can’t remember ever owning a starter whose bad games and good games had such wild variance and unpredictability. This guy would go out there and s--- the bed against an anemic offense and then turn around and dominate the Yankees like they were a single A club.  His closing stretch is promising, but I’m still wary. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him grow into a frontline pitcher that puts up a low 3 ERA and 200 strikeouts per season, but my confidence in that happening is on the low end of probable outcomes despite his arsenal, early prospect hype, and hot finish. I think I’ve just been burned by too many poor control pitchers with lights out stuff over the years. For every Sale or Kershaw that solves their control issues and realizes their potential you get a few dozen Chatwoods and Foltys (Yes I know the latter was quite good this past season but I see a pretty significant regression in 2019).

 

I’ll still draft him if he falls a bit, but I’m not full-on targeting him like marquez, for instance.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, sleepysock said:

 

I’ll still draft him if he falls a bit, but I’m not full-on targeting him like marquez, for instance.

 

 

 

I mean sure, but you’re comparing two players who are light years apart in early ADP data, and based on their 2019s the fact that Márquez is much more expensive should surprise no one. 

 

Marquez by this fantrax ADP source is the 25th SP off the board and a top 100 pick. In contrast, Reynaldo is 67th SP and past pick 240. 

 

If I had to touch Márquezs price for López, I’d easily walk away. But I don’t. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

I mean sure, but you’re comparing two players who are light years apart in early ADP data, and based on their 2019s the fact that Márquez is much more expensive should surprise no one. 

 

Marquez by this fantrax ADP source is the 25th SP off the board and a top 100 pick. In contrast, Reynaldo is 67th SP and past pick 240. 

 

If I had to touch Márquezs price for López, I’d easily walk away. But I don’t. 

 

Alright fair enough. Didn’t know the disparity between the two was so large. Guys in his area code I’m definitely targeting over Lopez include Matz, Rodon, Reyes, and Gray. 

Edited by sleepysock

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5 minutes ago, sleepysock said:

Alright fair enough. Didn’t know the disparity between the two was so large. Guys in his area code I’m definitely targeting over Lopez include Matz, Rodon, Reyes, and Gray. 

 

I think that’s a fair list/partial-list, but I would point out that every name on that list either has a significant injury history or had a significant injury in the past year, and that is probably the reason these “talents” have even been knocked down to be in Lopez’s range in the first place.

 

And I don’t quite know if I really agree on Rodon and Gray. Curious if Rodon is close or easy. You mention not liking poor control, but Rodon sports that 4+ BB/9 often. Lopez’s 2018 BB/9 was better than Rodons career average. 

 

Lopez is wild, but he doesn’t need as good of command as many pitchers to execute. His heat in the zone can be very hard to square up and can have some witchcraft movement to it. I think he can continue to build around an incredible primary pitch. 

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3 hours ago, taobball said:

 

I think that’s a fair list/partial-list, but I would point out that every name on that list either has a significant injury history or had a significant injury in the past year, and that is probably the reason these “talents” have even been knocked down to be in Lopez’s range in the first place.

 

And I don’t quite know if I really agree on Rodon and Gray. Curious if Rodon is close or easy. You mention not liking poor control, but Rodon sports that 4+ BB/9 often. Lopez’s 2018 BB/9 was better than Rodons career average. 

 

Lopez is wild, but he doesn’t need as good of command as many pitchers to execute. His heat in the zone can be very hard to square up and can have some witchcraft movement to it. I think he can continue to build around an incredible primary pitch. 

 

Yeah Rodon and Lopez have similar issues with control, I just like his ceiling more than Lopez, at least for 2019. If I’m looking at guys in the 55–80 ADP range, I’m taking the highest ceiling guys and that means looking at injury bounce back players and bad luck guys like gray. I’m thinking even if Reyes can only give you 120 healthy innings, it’s a decent enough gamble that those are 120 near elite innings. And with Rodon, we have at least seen him consistently put up a k per ip to offset his walks before last year. Not so much with Lopez as of yet. If i’m betting on one of those guys to give me the 9/3 that you hope for from these sort of pitchers, I’m taking the one that’s already done it and currently has his stock depressed after an up and down post injury campaign. Rodon’s Velo was fine and his slider still looked sharp, so I think he’s almost a lock to give you way above ADP value provided he can stay healthy. Are there really 75 pitchers you would take ahead of him? I’m not sure I could name 50 if truly pressed.

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I'm keeping Dahl as my last of 7 keepers(all hitters). Sorry Clevinger.

 

Lopez is firmly one of my targets. His stuff is electric. He finished strong(H2H) and that entire division aside from Lindor and Joram is average at best.

 

Yes he was wild at times last year, but it doesn't take much of an improvement in that department for him to be more than effective. He has one of the best fastballs in the entire league, a great slider and an decent changeup. Having an incredible fastball is the best place to start if your lab ratting an ace.

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4 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

 

What?!?

Coors cleanup hitter vs. top 20ish pitcher tend to be ranked pretty closely. I wouldn't condemn you if you prefer Clevy. They're both gonna get drafted within the same round.

 

Meanwhile there are literally tons of pitchers that can be drafted where I drafted Clevy last year around pick 200... Like Lopez.

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I love the writeups you guys have done on him. I just drafted him as my SP5 this past weekend and feel really good about. He helped me win the postseason last year with that nasty run he had. I love the movement on his fastball and, like someone already said, his ability to catch people off guard with a changeup nearly 20mph slower than his fastball. I'll be interested to see if he can reign in the FB control this year. Perhaps he lets off a little and throws it slightly slower to gain more control, which I don't think would cause him any issues because of the movement the pitch has. His 94 looks like 98 because of the movement. 

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Another underrated factor is the AL Central is just awful.  Tigers/Royals tossing out embarrassing level lineups, Twins should be solid, Indians gave him fits last year but overall looks like their roster is downgraded this year.  Ultimately the next keys to his development are harnessing his changeup command.  He made big strides with the slider last year, now hopefully he can get another pitch trending towards being average to above.  If that could happen he could be a mid 3 era type arm.  White Sox got some glove only guys out there, so defense should be very solid.  Eloy is on the way, hopefully he gets bettter run support.  White Sox trying to spend money, nobody wants it (yet) though.

Edited by Cmilne23
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There was that game against the Yankees late in the year where a lightbulb went off. He didn't have his fastball that day. He had to rely on his changeup and slider. He gave up 1 run over 7 with 10k I think. What was more important is that he realized he could get the job done without just pumping gas as a thrower. His changeup usage increased and he started using his slider less as more of a weak contact pitch. His sequencing also changed. These are all positive signs of growth and hope is he can build on it to become a solid starter. I think he'll settle in somewhere 3.5 to 4.0 with 180 k's. His k's increased up past 9 for those last 2 months and the bb's got better as well. Really wanted to see Machado in a Sox uniform, but I could still see Lopez being a top 30 SP

Edited by dkrocka
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I've been down on him a bit, but I like what I've seen/read in ST so far. Lots of swings and misses. 

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This guy throws straight whiffle ball movement pitches. Question for those in the know -- his changeup is highly regarded but is 20 mph lower than his FB. Isn't the ideal difference about 10 mph? Basically, is the fact that his speed differential is so wide a bad thing?

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3 minutes ago, UberRebel said:

This guy throws straight whiffle ball movement pitches. Question for those in the know -- his changeup is highly regarded but is 20 mph lower than his FB. Isn't the ideal difference about 10 mph? Basically, is the fact that his speed differential is so wide a bad thing?

No, the wider the gap, the better usually.  He’s got filthy movement on his pitches like you alluded to.  If he can harness that change up command he could have a big step forward.  I’m a big fan.  

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He's not the kind of pitcher you really want to "bank on." There may be some stomachaches along the way. But he's so filthy and I think he has a chance to really put it together this year.  I'm paying a premium to make sure I'm on the ride if it does happen, and trusting myself to build the rotation without him if it doesn't. 

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