Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Underrated Player to Watch at Each Level

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Double-A Altoona - INF Dariel Lopez

Dariel Lopez had posted some pretty solid numbers in the last two seasons but nothing outstanding. In 2021, he had a 103 wRC+, which isn’t terrible but only slightly above average. But 2022 was a nice breakout campaign for the infielder.

In 420 plate appearances, Lopez batted .286/.326/.476 with a .359 wOBA and 116 wRC+. Lopez smacked 19 home runs with a solid .189 isolated slugging percentage. It was a decent season, but he had poor plate discipline numbers. He walked at just a 5% rate with a strikeout rate of 25.5%. 

Overall, Lopez’s season was good, but he was much better from June through the end of the year. His final 282 plate appearances saw him slash .314/.351/.508. Lopez had a .382 wOBA and 131 wRC+, along with an ISO of .194. But his walk rate was just 3.9%, though he did have a slightly better 23.8% strikeout rate.

Lopez mostly played third base last season but has plenty of experience at both middle infield spots. He has an arm to play on the left side of the infield but mediocre range and overall fielding prowess. He projects as a 45-grade defender, which is why some project him as a first baseman.

Lopez receives a 50 grade for his hit tool but 60 grades for his game power and raw power. There’s a good amount of power potential, a guy who could hit .260-.270 with 25+ home runs. His defining position might end up being first base, but he could still see some time across all the infield positions.