- Full name Pablo Jose López
- Born 03/07/1996 in Cabimas, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- Debut 06/30/2018
Organization Prospect Rankings
Lopez signed as an international free agent with the Mariners in 2012 for $280,000 and was then traded to the Marlins in July 2017, along with Brayan Hernadnez and two others, for righthander David Phelps. Three years before the trade, Lopez had Tommy John surgery, missed the entire 2014 season and pitched just 37 innings in 2015. Over the last two seasons Lopez has bounced back strong, throwing nearly 230 innings with an ERA of 3.41. He is not an overpowering pitcher, though his low-90s fastball can touch 95 mph and features heavy sink. Neither Lopez's slider nor changeup grade out as much more than average, though his plus command helps all three of his pitches play up. In 2017, he walked just 20 batters in more than 145 innings--good for a walk rate of 1.2 per nine innings. That would have led the Florida State League had he pitched enough innings to qualify. Lopez will turn 22 in March and will likely be headed for Double-A Jacksonville. He needs either his slider or changeup to take a step forward if he wants to continue to succeed at the upper levels and reach his ceiling as a back-of-the-rotation starter thanks to plus command and strong competitive makeup.
Not much was known about Lopez when the Mariners signed him for $280,000 as a 16-year old international free agent, but he looks like a prudent investment. Lopez finished in the top five in theVenezuelan Summer League in WHIP, ERA and wins in his first pro season after signing, missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery, and picked up right where he left off after moving stateside in 2015 and posting a 3.13 ERA in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Lopez made his full-season debut in 2016 and was one of the low Class A Midwest League's most effective pitchers, with a WHIP, ERA and opponent average that would have ranked in the top five if he pitched enough innings. Lopez is aggressive and efficient with his three-pitch mix, topped by an 89-91 mph fastball that is increasing in velocity and an average curveball and changeup. He pounds the bottom of the zone to induce a heavy amount of ground balls, and he issued just nine walks in 86.1 innings last season. As a supreme strike-thrower with growing stuff, Lopez can be a back-of-the-rotation starter if he remains healthy. He will begin 2017 at high Class A Modesto.
- Venezuela activated RHP Pablo López.