Lopez just can’t seem to get comfortable with a changeup, utilizing the pitch just 153 times (7.23%) in 2019. It’s pVAL (-3.1) and underlying numbers are comparatively respectable—at least in relation to the fastball—but it has a <7 mph velocity difference from the fastball, and ineffectual movement numbers.
Lopez’s most utilized pitch in 2019, the curveball was a 0.1 utilized pVAL sample on the year, with a strong 31.9% K rate offset by respectable WOBA and wRC+ numbers.
Lopez’s fastball was simply disastrous in 2019, yielding 11 home runs and an atrocious .440 wOBA, all contributing to a cratering -11.7 pVAL.
After a uninspiring debut with the slider last year, Lopez dialled it back some in 2019. It lacks movement but can be serviceable as a pitch early in the count. But that’s about it!
Lopez adopted a two-seamer last season and the results were pretty good with a 3.1 pVal. It only allowed one home run all season, in part to a solid 35.5% infield fly-ball rate. Hitters managed to hit .261 off of it, so it wasn’t exceptional, but it got the job done with an OK walk rate.
Lopez also further developed his curve, which he used as his strikeout pitch. It generated an 11% swinging-strike rate, but he will need to improve on its 33.3% outside swing rate. If he can make hitters chase this pitch it has the potential to be very good.
The four-seamer was terrible for Lopez, with a -5.2 pVal. Hitters mashed it to the tune of .326/.429/.609, while giving up a ton of line drives and fly balls. This pitch needs a lot of refining.
Despite its good movement Lopez did not rely on the changeup much, throwing it only 11% of the time. It does generate a bunch of grounders with a decent swinging-strike rate, but he didn’t get it into the zone enough. This could be a useful pitch for him if it was thrown more often.
Lopez toyed with a slider last season for the first time, a pitch he mainly used when behind in counts. It held hitters to a .235 BAA, but hitters laid off on it outside of the zone leading to a high walk rate. It doesn’t move much, making it tough to fool hitters with.