34-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Wilton Lopez in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Wilton Lopez Contract Information:
Signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December of 2014 that includes an invite to spring training.
Lopez was cut from major league camp Saturday, Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports.
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Wilton Lopez Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Wilton Lopez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Wilton Lopez.
As a groundball pitcher with a low walk rate heading into 2013, Lopez was thought to have all the tools to succeed as a top setup man at Coors Field, but Wilton ended up, well, wilting. In his team-high 75 appearances, Lopez saw his groundball rate fall five percentage points from his mark the season before with the Astros, while his walk and strikeout rates also veered dramatically in undesirable directions. In spite of the downturn in performance, Lopez finished with a decent 3.69 xFIP and should at least remain a useful part of the Rockiesí bullpen mix. Even so, the addition of LaTroy Hawkins to the relief corps plunges Lopez further down the pecking order, which wonít aid him in picking up holds for fantasy owners.
Lopez was handed the closer's gig after Brett Myers was traded, and performed admirably, thanks in part to an insanely low walk rate (just 1.1 BB/9). Lopez throws his sinking fastball often, relying on the sink to keep the ball in the yard. To the batter, it looks like Lopez is throwing his fastballs straight down, which creates a poor hitting angle. After being traded to Colorado in December, Lopez is expected to move into a setup role for the Rockies in front of closer Rafael Betancourt. With his aforementioned ability to keep the ball on the ground, he may actually be capable of having success despite being forced to pitch half of his games at Coors Field.
Lopez followed up a nice 2010 season with another solid year. He is a workhorse, averaging over 70 appearances in the past two seasons. Lopez doesn't strike out a ton of batters, but he limits the walks and doesn't really cough up the long ball, making him rather effective in relief. Unfortunately, though, this translates to minimal fantasy value, as he is still behind Brandon Lyon in the pecking order for saves with Mark Melancon honing his craft for the Red Sox.
Lopez's success in the bullpen in 2010 surprised many. Among his impressive stats was this one: he stranded 32 of 33 inherited runners -- the highest percentage among major league relievers at 97 percent. Much of that success can be attributed to his ability to limit the walks, as he allowed just five in 67 innings. He gets his fastball up into the low 90s - not traditional closer stuff, but not all that different from fellow late-inning man Brandon Lyon. As Lopez moves into his second season, he figures to play a more prominent role in the Astros' bullpen, and he could even sneak in a few situational saves.
Lopez moved into the Double-A rotation in June and didn't embarrass himself too much. He's not really a prospect, more accurately described as the sort of organizational depth that comes in handy when you don't have good alternatives to start the back half of a doubleheader. If injuries or a trade opens a spot in the Houston rotation, he figures to at least get a look. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, so his fantasy value will be limited no matter what his role is.
Originally signed by the Yankees, Lopez left professional ball in 2004 and went home to Nicaragua where he was scouted and signed a couple of years later by the Padres, returning to the States for the 2007 season. Lopez will not dazzle you with his stuff, but he throws strikes and keeps the ball in the yard, two characteristics useful for a bullpen arm. Lopez split last season between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio before pitching an inning at Triple-A Portland at the end of the season. Lopez will not be in the mix for late-inning pressure situations, but could carve out a niche as a set-up man.