Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect 2022 Outlook: Dariel Lopez

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Infielder Dariel Lopez was one of the big risers on FanGraphs newest Pittsburgh Pirates prospect board. What could 2022 have in store for the right-handed hitter?

Here at Rum Bunter we have covered FanGraphs new prospect board for the Pittsburgh Pirates extensively. This has included Nick breaking down the list, a look at notable risers and fallers, as well as some additional thoughts from Noah. You can see FanGraphs complete board for the Pittsburgh Pirates here.

Another notable riser that we have not touched on yet was infielder Dariel Lopez. The 20-year-old Lopez went from not being on FanGraphs prospect board for the Pirates, top sitting insider their top 20 at no. 19. FanGraphs now gives Lopez an overall future value of 40+.

Lopez is coming off a 2021 season that saw him accumulate 416 plate appearances in 98 games played with the Bradenton Marauders. In these 416 PAs Lopez hit for a .258/.341/.393 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 103.

The right-handed hitting Lopez hit 10 home runs for the Marauders and collected a total of 28 extra base hits. He struck out in 24.8% of his trips to the plate while drawing walks at a 9.9% clip. He drove in 64 runs for the Marauders and posted an isolated slugging (ISO) of .136.

What is most intriguing about Lopez is his power potential. FanGraphs gives his raw power a FV of 50. While this may not have translated to his performance at the plate in 2021, his 6-foot-1, 185 pound frame is one that should be able to develop into a power hitter.

In his professional career Lopez has played four positions. In 2019 he played first base, second base, shortstop, and third base. Last season, he saw time at just second base, shortstop, and third base. Defense is one thing that could always prove to hold Lopez back. He is a bit of a man without a position, although with the National League expected to add the designated hitter that could be less of an issue, and FanGraphs gives his fielding a FV of just 20.

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Looking ahead to this season Lopez should make the jump to High-A. He could play all over the field for a Greensboro Grasshoppers squad that is set to lose much of their championship roster to Double-A.

The Pirates and Lopez both will be looking for improved power in 2022. You would also like to see his strikeout numbers come down some while his contact rates improve. If Lopez can do this then he will continue to trend upward among Pirate prospects.