Good velocity separation from his fastball (11.5 mph) generated some good whiff rates (15.1% SwStr%) when Lopez threw his changeup in the zone (52%) in 2019, but with below-average depth and run, it did not entice batters to chase often (24.9% O-Swing), which also led to an elevated 8.2% BB rate. Batters also hit the change hard when able to make contact in 2019, slugging an excellent .640 with 16 extra-base hits (seven homers) on the 73 balls they put in play.
Lackluster movement, especially in horizontal break, keeps Lopez’s curveball from having any more than an occasional showing (6.6%). Poor chase (20.7%) and whiff (10%) rates seem to support the decision to use it only in select situations, as hitters choose more often than not to let it pass (35.3% swing rate) even when in the zone (44.8%), and take their chances with his straighter offerings.
In his fourth season in the league, Reynaldo Lopez’s repertoire has continued to expand, and as such, his use of the fastball has decreased slightly each year (58.8% in 2019). With above-average velocity (95.4 mph) and arm-side run, it demonstrated some effectiveness when it was on, but with a 8.7% SwStr% and a BABIP of .347, overall results were unspectacular with a .840 OPS allowed.
This was nearly a Money Pitch last season, it was far from it this season. After not giving up a HR on the slider in 2018, he gave up 10 this year, contributing to an ugly total of 35. Lopez also led the league in runs. His command was horrendous despite inducing a 41.9 IFFB%. If Lopez is to improve, the slider needs to get back to its 2018 level.
Lopez added a tick to his four-seamer in 2018, still a bit slower than his stint with the Nationals but up to a sizzling 95.6 mph. Batters struggled in the batting average department against the pitch, due in large part to a depressed BABIP, but power metrics increased. Lopez will need to locate his fastball a bit better to boost its value.
Lopez added a slider when he came to the White Sox, using it a bit in 2017 before making it his featured breaking ball in 2018. The slider served him well last year, with a pitch value of 5.7 and a measly .194 batting average against. Lopez didn’t surrender a single home run on the slider and its near Money Pitch status should keep it as his most effective offering.
The changeup for Lopez posted a negative pitch value for the second straight season, though it improved to a nearly average pitch. Lopez relied heavily on his curveball with the Nationals, but added a slider and increased changeup usage with the White Sox. The slider and changeup should continue to be Lopez’s primary offspeed pitches.
The fourth pitch in his tool belt, Lopez continued to occasionally sprinkle in his curveball to poor results. Thrown 5.5% of the time, he mustered just six whiffs all season. Although he threw it outside of the zone more often than not (40.6%), opponents chased on just 16.8% of those occasions. It’s the weakest of his offspeed offerings.