The Toronto Blue Jays boast one of the top ten farm systems in all of major league baseball, with five players being featured on the top 100 prospects through MLB Pipeline. On the Blue Jays top 30 list, ten of those players are middle infielders, with Austin Martin, Jordan Groshans, and Orelvis Martinez featured near the top.
At #11 on the list is Otto Lopez, an infield prospect who signed with the Blue Jays at16 years old and already has three years of experience in the farm system coming into 2021. For his career across Rookie League to AA, Lopez features a .313/.375/.426 with nine home runs, 104 RBI, 86 walks, and 44 stolen bases to the tune of a .801 OPS through 241 games. Simply put, the Dominican product hits at pretty much every level he’s put at.
This year, the Jays promoted him to AA where he would feature alongside Martin, Groshans, and Samad Taylor for playing time up the middle. Utilized at both shortstop and second base for most of his professional career, the righty hitting prospect has started to get some reps in the outfield in recent years, a move that makes sense to give him consistent playing time without sacrificing a spot in the order for one of the other top prospects.
With the Toronto Blue Jays featuring a smorgasbord of infield talent in the minor leagues, New Hampshire Fisher Cats second baseman Otto Lopez is quietly producing above the rest of the prospects.
So far this season, Lopez is performing well at the plate, slashing .343/.389/.465 with zero home runs, and 11 RBI with seven walks. His .854 OPS, batting average, and slugging percentage is
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second-best on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats behind catcher Gabriel Moreno while his 12 doubles, 34 hits, and 24 games played put him atop the internal leaderboards.
Defensively, Lopez has struggled a bit at second base, committing five errors through 13 games, sporting a .900 fielding percentage. This may also be a contributing factor for the move to the outfield, as it appears the Jays may be considering him for a utility position given that his arm, athleticism, and speed can handle different positions both in the infield and outfield.
The Blue Jays also added Lopez to the 40-man roster this past off-season, a move to keep him from being selected in the Rule-5 draft from an opposing organization. Considering a roster spot is not just handed out to any player, it makes sense that the front office would want to protect Lopez and keep him in the organization given his production with the bat in his hands.
While the likes of Martin and Groshans will dominate the headlines given their top ranking and potential, Otto Lopez has quietly been climbing the Blue Jays farm system and a strong 2021 season could see him make the next jump to AAA before the year comes to an end.
Don’t sleep on this player, as a potential 2022 call-up could be on the horizon if the production in the batter’s box remains consistent.