Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: All Underrated 2023 Lineup

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Third Base - Dariel Lopez

Jared Triolo has gained more traction and attention from the broader baseball world. With his inclusion on the 40-man roster, I don't think he's as underrated as Dariel Lopez anymore. Lopez was an international signee by the Bucs out of Puerto Rico. After two middling seasons in 2019 and 2021, Lopez seemed to turn a corner as he had a breakout 2022 campaign.

Lopez batted .286/.329/.476 through 420 plate appearances. Lopez is considered a power-hitting prospect, as he had a .189 isolated slugging percentage and projects to have 60-grade raw power. But the most worrying part of his season was his 5% walk rate and 25.5% strikeout rate. But he still ended the year with a well above-average .359 wOBA and 116 wRC+.

Lopez's season was decent, but he had a strong June-through-September. The infield prospect hit .314/.351/.508 with a .382 wOBA, and 131 wRC+. Now Lopez still had unimpressive plate discipline numbers, as he had a 3.9% walk rate and a 23.8% strikeout rate. But his isolated slugging percentage clocked in at .193.

Lopez mainly played third base last season but also saw a handful of games at shortstop. He also has experience at second base and first base. With mediocre speed and range, he's a corner infielder in the long haul. He's mostly played third base, but he might end up at first base as he still doesn't grade out as a great defender overall.

It will be fun to see what Lopez can do at Altoona next year. Though it will also be a real test for him as well. Lopez has some worrying underlying numbers, specifically relating to his plate discipline. However, he has received average to above-average reviews for his power. Even if he ends up at first base long-term, he could be a strong option at the corner infield position.

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