F@ndemonium

Pablo Lopez, SP MIA

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PABLO LOPEZ, SP MIA

6'3 200 LBS

Age: 22

 

'18 Stats (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp; AA)

8 Starts

ERA: 0.62

WHIP: 0.87

OPP AVG: .184

K:BB: 51/8

 

Figured this guy has dominated long enough to finally receive his own thread.

 

Lopez was considered more-or-less a throw in on the David Phelps trade a season ago, however he has emerged as the best of the four player haul received by the Marlins.

 

A Tommy John survivor, Lopez plays off a solid three pitch mix (fastball/change/slider) including a heater that he can dial up to 97 mph. The change is his  best secondary offering, however he is more than capable of throwing all his arsenal for strikes.  After a minor tweak to his mechanics in mid 2017, his control took big steps forward, as he posted a 2.18 ERA  & 32/7 K:BB during 8 second half starts after moving to the FSL, showing an improved K-rate.  

 

The Marlins thought enough to place him on their 40 man roster, protecting him from Rule 5 selection, and he quickly rewarded their faith by holding his own against MLB regulars spanning an impressive pre-season, which included a March 7 outing where he sat down Astros regulars Brian McCann and Carlos Correa on strikes during back-to-back innings.  

 

The start of his '18 campaign, following a promotion to AA, was slightly derailed when he was hit on his throwing arm by a line drive in early April, but since returning he has been nothing short of dominant.  Through eight starts (43 2/3 IP) he has allowed a mere 3 earned runs to cross the plate, with an impressive 51:8 punch out to walk ratio, and a minuscule 0.62 ERA and .087 WHIP.  

 

At 22 years (which he just turned in March) he is age appropriate for the level, and may even add a few more wrinkles as he continues to mature physically.  His 6'3 200lb frame suggests a capable innings eater.

 

With not much blocking his path, and with Miami prepared to audition its youth  during the second half of a rebuilding season (along with his existing 40 man roster placement), it wouldn't surprise me to see Lopez toeing the rubber in South Beach before the '18 campaign concludes.    

 

Definitely a name to put on the prospect radar and worth a speculative add in dynasty leagues that could ultimately pay dividends.    

 

 

 

 

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Great post; thanks for writing about him. He’s on my radar now. 

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Since the original post 10 days ago he's been promoted to AAA where he fired off 6 IP / 2 ER / 4K / 6H / 1BB / 3.00 ERA / 1.17 WHIP.  Not a bad line for a 22 year old making his debut in AAA.

 

While the AAA line was good (but not great), what excites me about him is that he has a lively fastball and is on the 40-man roster...all things that F@ndemonium mentioned.  Taking a look at the Marlins' current MLB staff, there are a few guys on notice:

 

 - Straily - 4.08 ERA / 1.49 WHIP / 5.57 FIP

 - Chen - 6.12 ERA / 1.64 WHIP / 5.90 FIP

 - Urena - 4.59 ERA / 1.22 WHIP / 3.85 FIP

 - Smith - 3.70 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / 3.50 FIP - the veritable ace on the staff right now

 - Richards - 4.41 ERA / 1.38 WHIP / 4.51 FIP

 

Wei-Yin Chen at age 32 seems like the odd man out here, and I could see world in which Lopez gets the call to see what he can do in the majors.  The Marlins are clearly not competing for this year and have shown the willingness to aggressively promote their minor leaguers, so it could be worth while to stash him now.

 

From Fangraphs (link here, this is prior to the 2018 season)

Lopez missed 2014 due to a ligament tear that required Tommy John surgery, and then he struggled to miss bats in 2015 and 2016 while throwing a nearly elite level of strikes. His stuff is up. His fastball sat in the 92-96 range with life last year and touched 97. Lopez does it easy and commands his fastball, average breaking ball, and changeup. He’s gone from projecting as an up-and-down arm to a potential No. 4/5 starter in the last year. Lopez was acquired from Seattle as part of the David Phelps deal ahead of the 2017 trade deadline.

 

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Pitching tonight, let's see what he can do in start two against some fairly good talent against Fresno (Tucker, White, Reed and Davis).

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12 minutes ago, BigPapi44 said:

Pitching tonight, let's see what he can do in start two against some fairly good talent against Fresno (Tucker, White, Reed and Davis).

 

...and he just gave up a 3-run HR in the first...if only I had waited 15 minutes :)

 

let's see how it plays out though...still worth monitoring considering the Marlins' current staff situation and his past performance

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What is the real story on this guy? How many are "all in" on this guy? Is he just a streamer or a guy we can count on ROS?

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He reminds me a bit of Freddy Peralta.  It would be ridiculous to expect that Lopez has the same kind of immediate success that Peralta has had so far, but I think if he performs well he should be able to hold down a longer-term position in the rotation.  With Caleb Smith out and the rest of the team sucking, a rotation spot is his to win. 

 

His initial foray into AAA was modest (3.38 ERA over 4 starts [one aborted after 1.2 scoreless IPs due to the call up] but a 5.40 FIP), but I followed some of his starts and he seemed to show good poise by pitching out of some jams and coming back out to pitch scoreless innings after a couple of ERs.  

 

My opinion: he's likely not worth owning in shallower mixed leagues for a variety of reasons, but in deeper leagues and / or dynasty leagues, he's worth taking a flier on to see if he becomes the next Freddy Peralta or Luis Castillo.  

 

Here's what Fangraphs wrote about him in March, when he was the Marlins' 18th ranked prospect (link here):

 

Lopez missed 2014 due to a ligament tear that required Tommy John surgery, and then he struggled to miss bats in 2015 and 2016 while throwing a nearly elite level of strikes. His stuff is up. His fastball sat in the 92-96 range with life last year and touched 97. Lopez does it easy and commands his fastball, average breaking ball, and changeup. He’s gone from projecting as an up-and-down arm to a potential No. 4/5 starter in the last year. Lopez was acquired from Seattle as part of the David Phelps deal ahead of the 2017 trade deadline.

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On 6/27/2018 at 6:46 AM, Dr. Claw said:

Looks like he's coming up for a start this weekend against the Mets if anyone needs a starter...

 

image.png.2b77601d98261d54d0ca0b0ab4900d18.png

 

Who is picking this dude up

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He can barely strike guys out in high-A, not sure why anyone would expect this dude to perform in the majors.

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36 minutes ago, steve9347 said:

He can barely strike guys out in high-A, not sure why anyone would expect this dude to perform in the majors.

last year. His AA numbers this year say hi. He has made noted adjustments. 

I like him to end up being a solid 4 starter and especially like him pitching in that home ballpark.

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Yeah last year's A ball numbers mean little. His stuff has ticked up across the board. It's an interesting package. Certainly more of a keeper/dynasty stash unless you play in an uber deep points redraft or something.

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On 6/28/2018 at 9:08 AM, steve9347 said:

He can barely strike guys out in high-A, not sure why anyone would expect this dude to perform in the majors.

 

On 6/28/2018 at 12:44 PM, ST. STEVEN said:

Yeah last year's A ball numbers mean little. His stuff has ticked up across the board. It's an interesting package. Certainly more of a keeper/dynasty stash unless you play in an uber deep points redraft or something.

 

Exactly.  A third grader can't do Algebra usually but by junior high he is off and running.  The minor leagues are just a school like any other one in that you learn and grow there.  You never ever remain the same.  And in the case of the minors this includes the physical body as well as learning and growing in your craft and mental and emotional maturity.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory

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46 minutes ago, Steelers72 said:

Outdueled de Grom for a QS win

 

6ip 6h 2er 1bb 5k

 

 

Did he actually look sharp or did he just feast on a weak lineup?

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22 minutes ago, Dark Kn19ht said:

Did he actually look sharp or did he just feast on a weak lineup?

Got a couple ks on his good elevated fastball.  Jose caught one in the first after he threw 2-3 in the AB. 

 

Gave up a total of two solo home runs

 

Only one start , but an FIP at 6.28 will mean we will prob some regression ...  worth a speculative add if you have the space. His k/bb rate in the minors was nice heading into this start. My money is on a high 3-4era pitcher who doesnt give a lot of free passes with a 5k/9

Edited by Steelers72

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