O'Brien's Numbers Hard To Ignore
BEST PLAYER: By putting up some of the best power numbers in the minors, 25-year-old left fielder Peter O’Brien forced his way into a crowded outfield situation in Arizona.
At the time of his promotion on June 10, O’Brien led the minors with 17 home runs and was hitting .330/.356/.670. Those numbers are hard to ignore even in the hitter-friendly environments of Triple-A Reno and the Pacific Coast League.
"He was impressive last year offensively in Reno, but it was just the way he was doing it and against the type of pitchers he was doing it against this year,” farm director Mike Bell said.
"It was the situations—the big hits, big home runs, big at-bats. It was fun to watch when he was in Reno.”
A Yankees second-round pick from Miami in 2012, O’Brien joined the Diamondbacks in a July 2014 trade for Martin Prado.
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: High Class A Visalia third baseman Dawel Lugo signed with the Blue Jays as a shortstop for $1.3 million in 2011, but in his two years at full-season levels he hadn’t exceeded four homers or posted an OPS north of .650.
But Lugo, acquired by the D-backs last August for veteran infielder Cliff Pennington, has started to put it together this season, hitting .289/.328/.458 with 10 homers, 10 doubles and three triples in California League.
"He lost some weight, he’s playing with tremendous energy, he’s swinging the bat exceptionally well and he’s making tremendous strides on both sides of the baseball,” senior vice president of baseball operations De Jon Watson said.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: When spring training ended, the D-backs believed 23-year-old Cuban righthander Yoan Lopez might be closer to delivering on the expectations that accompanied his big-ticket signing.
Instead, he’s run into some of the same problems as last year, struggling to stay healthy, post good results and stay consistent with the quality of his stuff.
Through 13 starts at Double-A Mobile, he went 4-6, 5.27 with 29 walks and just 31 strikeouts in 56 innings. Counting his Southern League time in 2015, Lopez has run up a 5.00 ERA in 104 innings.
Yoan Lopez Bounces Back
After a rough debut, Yoan Lopez could have folded. Instead, the righthander rebounded and hinted at his upside.
The club signed Lopez for about $8 million, plus another $8 million in penalties, in January 2015.