Otto Lopez – INF/OF
After only playing in the Dominican Winter League last year with the minor league season canceled due to COVID-19, Otto Lopez took advantage of the 2021 campaign and put himself in a position to be Major League ready for 2022.
Splitting his time between both AA and AAA this past season, Lopez slashed .315/.379/.437 with five home runs, 64 RBI, and a .816 OPS through 113 games. He also used his speed on the basepaths to snag 22 stolen bases while only being caught four times as well as earning 41 walks compared to his 88 strikeouts. Defensively, Lopez spent most of the year at second base and also took some reps in left and center field with a few shortstop games sprinkled in, crafting a .958 fielding percentage at second.
The Toronto Blue Jays have an interesting offseason ahead that could open up a few spots on the roster for some players currently on the bubble.
The righty-batter did get a brief callup to the Blue Jays this season but only had one at-bat, striking out against the Washington Nationals during his lone appearance. While he would be limited to just one at-bat, Lopez had a great year down in the minor leagues and will be looking to build upon that this spring as he looks to crack the Opening Day roster.
If Marcus Semien does not return to the club next season, there will be an opening at second base that could see Lopez sneak his way onto the roster. He does have to compete with Cavan Biggio for the position, as he is most likely not returning to third, but if he does move to a utility role that some are predicting, creating an opening for the Dominican product to find himself in Toronto to begin the 2022 season.
If the club does decide to keep Biggio at second, Lopez could sneak on as a bench player and continue getting reps at second or shortstop but the front office could keep him down in the minors to get increased playing time rather than being on the bench.