The Potential Tools: 70 FB, 55 CB, 50 CH, 50 Command
Strengths: Extreme arm speed; quality athleticism; big, explosive FB; works in mid-to-high 90s; can touch triple digits late in games; CB will miss bats; 11-to-5 shape with tight spin and depth; can vary velocity and break of CB, and has feel for pitch; CH has taken steps forward; can turn it over out in front and show sinking action; mid-to-high 80s CH will be enough separation from FB; when mechanics and command are in unison, can flash #2 SP upside.
Weaknesses: Command can vary; present below average; mechanics can become inconsistent; fails to make in-game adjustments presently; limited true feel for CH; too inconsistent at present; more strength and weight needed to handle SP workload; has shown reliever traits as of late.
Role Ceiling: 60; Low #2/High #3 SP.
Risk: High; inconsistent command and present mechanics; no upper-minor league experience.
Summary: On good nights, Lopez can compete with anyone. He’ll show an upper-90s fastball, above-average curveball and at least average changeup with command within in the zone. The problem is that Lopez consistently becomes inconsistent with his mechanics and loses his command early in starts. Once this happens, Lopez fails to make adjustments and weighs on the rest of the start. For long stretches of last year though Lopez stayed consistent in his delivery and made strides with his command within the strike zone- improvements should benefit him going forward. Lopez is right on the border of strong, consistent SP or reliever-only. He’ll have to prove himself further in 2016.