2016 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Depth: 2nd base
By Ryan Mueller
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Christian Lopes 23-yrs-old
Once considered one of Toronto’s better infield prospects, Lopes has seen his development stall the past two years. The former 7th round pick of the 2011 draft split time between Advanced-A and Double-A in 2015.
Christian impressed in Dunedin, but struggled during his 2 stints in New Hampshire. He hasn’t shown much power since posting .204 ISO in 2012, and only posted .089 ISO with Dunedin and .000 ISO with NH.
After producing well above league average in Dunedin (.358 wOBA), Lopes may have hit his ceiling, only posting .218 wOBA in Double-A.
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In the field, Lopes has played over 350 games at 2nd base with 4.54 RangeFactor and .974 Fld% over 5 seasons.
Launching pad– It is sink or swim time for Lopes, who should get a shot at redemption in New Hampshire. I would be surprised to see him start the season in Dunedin, but management could look to get his confidence back before challenging him with a Double-A assignment.
Shane Opitz 23-yrs-old
Shane is a good player who has struggled to stay healthy, which he did in 2015. He put up some decent numbers with the Fisher Cats when you consider he only played 30 games in 2014. Opitz’ production at 2nd was below league average, .283 wOBA and 76 wRC+, but bad luck (.269 BABIP) may have played a part in lowering those numbers.
He managed to hit 15 doubles, 5 triples and 3 HR for .095 ISO.
Defensively, Opitz uses his athleticism to play all over the field. In 2015, he played 35 games at 2nd with 4.80 RangeFactor and .988Fld%. He also played 22 games at 3rd, 17 games at 1st, 12 games at SS, and 8 games in the OF.
Launching pad– The 2010 draft pick should continue filling the same role with New Hampshire in ’16. Look for some better numbers and a late season move to Buffalo.
Next: Dunedin: Thon and Leblebijian