Since being drafted in the 27th round back in 2015 by the Cincinnati Reds, Alejo Lopez had been solid but unspectacular in his minor league career. All of that changed in 2021. He had worked his way up to Advanced-A in 2019 with Daytona and then played for Monterrey in the Mexican Winter League in both the 2019 and 2020 winters. With the 2020 season cancelled in Minor League Baseball, Lopez had to wait until 2021 to get to the Double-A level. The wait was worth it for as short as it lasted as Lopez hit .362/.437/.448 with nine doubles and more walks than strikeouts.

After beating up on Double-A pitching, the Reds promoted Lopez to Triple-A on June 2nd. The infielder didn’t skip a beat. In fact, he performed even better. Over the first four weeks with Louisville, Alejo Lopez hit .358/.436/.526 with 12 extra-base hits in 24 games and had just seven strikeouts.

On June 28th Cincinnati made another promotion and Alejo Lopez joined the Reds at home against Philadelphia where he came off of the bench as a pinch hitter and picking up his first big league hit – a single – in the process. On July 1st he’d get a second straight start against San Diego and he’d go 4-5 on the day and score two runs. Despite the strong game, he would barely play over the next two-and-a-half weeks, going 0-8 with just one start mixed in there. He would briefly go back to Triple-A and play in three games in two days before returning to Cincinnati for two games – going 1-2 as a pinch hitter – before heading back to Louisville on July 27th.

Over the next month he’d remain with the Bats in Triple-A and hit .290/.396/.419 with 17 walks and just nine strikeouts in 26 games. When September began he’d get called up for a few days, playing in three games before returning to Louisville for the final three weeks of the season where he hit .255.

Alejo Lopez stats

For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Alejo Lopez Scouting Report

Position: Second Base | B/T: S/R

Height: 5′ 10″ | Weight: 170 lbs | Acquired: 27th Round (2015)

Born: May 5, 1996

Hitting | He has an above-average hit tool.

Power | Lopez has well below-average power.

Speed | He shows below-average speed.

Defense | He’s a slightly below-average defender.

Arm | His arm is fringe-average.

Hitting for average is where Alejo Lopez stands out. It’s the one tool he shows that’s average or better. The switch-hitter can and does use the entire field from both sides of the plate. And he can and does make tons of contact, showing elite bat-to-ball skills. In the minors this past season he walked significantly more often than he struck out, too. In 2021 he also began to show a little more pop in his bat, something he attributes to just maturing as a hitter and knowing what to do better. While there was more power, he’s still a hitter with well below-average power in his bat but there’s enough there that pitchers can’t just throw him fastballs down the middle, either.

Defensively Alejo Lopez is best suited for second base. His range isn’t great, but he can make the routine play and his arm works fine for the position. He has also played third base and a little bit of left field in his career, though he doesn’t profile enough as a hitter to be a potential starting option at either of those spots.

The upside for Alejo Lopez is that of a solid starting second baseman who carries a high average without much power, makes tons of contact, and gets on base. But the more likely scenario is that he’s a quality utility player who can come off of the bench when you need someone to put the bat on the ball, make contact, pick up a hit from either side of the plate, or give you a few starts per week around the field. He’s got some versatility and what he can bring with the bat is very useful. Top it off with the fact that he’s ready to fill that role right now at the Major League level and the floor is quite high.

Alejo Lopez Spray Chart

Left-handed hitting Spray Chart

Right-Handed hitting Spray Chart

*Minor League Hit Data only*

Interesting Stat on Alejo Lopez

When the game was tied in 2021 in the minor leagues, Lopez hit just .237. When his team was leading he hit .342. And when his team was trailing he hit .379 and also hit 4 of his 6 home runs.

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21 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    I would like to see what happens if he is given a chance to start. I would hate to move India off 2B but maybe they should give it a trial run with India at 3B and Lopez at 2B. India came up as a third baseman but has been a great second baseman with great range. The only way that fails is if Lopez doesn’t hit enough. We need more contact hitters in the lineup. Another twist is maybe trying Suarez in LF. Even another(and maybe the best one) is Lopez in LF , Suarez at 3B and India at 2B. That would put Winker in RF and Naquin /Senzel in CF. The outfield defense might be a little weak but no more so than this past season.

    • Luke J

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of this modern idea that a player who hits for contact and very high average has no place in the game unless they have power. I’ll take a team full of Tony Gwynns every day over a team full of Dave Kingmans. If Lopez can hit for high average (and the early returns are that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities), then he should absolutely have a spot in the lineup, even if every one of those hits is a single. Maybe I’m too old school.

      • James K

        I remember Richie Ashburn of the Phillies. Just singles and walks, but he was on base almost all the time.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree 100% LukeJ. Nothing happens unless there is a WP, PB or SB on a SO. i.e. unless there is an error by the pitcher or catcher or a stolen base. Give me contact hitters like Pete Rose all day long. A lot of things can happen if you put the bat on the ball. If you consistently hit the ball hard, a lot more things can happen. A strike out is the pitcher’s dream.

  2. Matt

    He, like Friedl, is one that if nobody is cut from the current 40 man roster will start the year in Louisville because the front office likes “options”.
    I’m also not sure who he is clearly better than. Especially if Winker, Moose, and Naquin all return to pre-injury form. And if Suarez hits like he did to end last year.

  3. Stock

    my hope is that Moustakas and Suarez play well enough to have trade value again and are traded in July creating a move of India to 3B and Lopez to 2B.

    Additionally trade Farmer and install Barrero at SS.

    • BK

      I like Lopez, but I’m higher on Schrock as a utility infielder. Good teams have talent at the ready at AAA.

      • BK

        Sorry, Stock … wasn’t really replying to you, just offering my own thought.

    • DaveCT

      I’d prefer Farmer is traded before the season starts so the job is Barrero’s and no one else’s. One, Farmer will likely not be the asset he is now, and two, if Barrero falls flat on his face there would be adequate replacements at AAA. AlfRod, MHernandez, a Freeman type of signee, they can both play defense in the ML’s.

      • Redsvol

        say what you will about Farmer but a player that can play passable defense at every infield position is very valuable. The offense isn’t stellar but not every team can have a 30 million $ middle infielder.

  4. Redsvol

    going to be hard for Lopez to make the opening day roster unless someone is traded. I would like to see him get pinch hitting opportunities as our pinch hitters rarely made contact last year.
    We have a roster made for playing with the DH so we better hope that gets added to new CBA. Moose, Geno, Votto, and Winker should all get DH at bats as they are all defensive liabilities. Would be nice if Lopez and/or Geno could play a passable left field. Sit Winker against the tough lefties and put one of them in left and the other at third – or shift India to third for those games while Lopez plays second. That would help some of the problem with lefties – and a return of Moose to his career average.

  5. Stock

    Lopez is Luis Arraez with more power and more speed. If Arraez is playing every day then there is a spot for Lopez in this league.

    • Alan Horn

      Agree Stock. How will we know until they give him a decent chance. He seems to have mastered AAA.

  6. MBS

    I like Lopez, and Cedrola who hit .315/.354/.458 in AA, and AAA. For what ever reason these guys get no love. I know baseball is changing, but I’m pretty sure if you want to score more than 1 run at a time, you need runners on base. HR or bust is a stupid strategy. If Cedrola doesn’t get rule 5’d then maybe he can prove he belongs this year. He didn’t get much playing time in AAA, just basically the postseason run I think.

    • Tom

      A counter argument would say look at the Billy Hamilton’s, & Dave Sappelt’s over the years. High average, lower slugging. The one’s that make it had a carrying tool or two. With Lopez, Friedl, Cedrola, etc, unfortunately, they’re going to need to blow the doors down for a full year to hold a spot at the MLB level. But, to your point, maybe that’s an inefficiency in some regard. That is for the rebuilding squads to take on, generally.

      • Luke J

        I think when people refer to high average, low slugging players, they are not referring to Billy Hamilton’s lifetime .240 average, or Dave Sappelt’s .251.

      • Tom

        Referring to MiLB performance which is mostly all we have for Lopez.

        Hamilton in MiLB: .279/.350/.376/.725
        Sappelt in MiLB: .292/.344/.430/.774

      • Tom

        Hamilton and Sappelt had lesser plate discipline than Lopez, so perhaps we’re looking at a profile more similar to Ronald Torreyes. He also had a nearly 1 to 1 BB to K ratio in the minors and a similar batting slash:

        .291/.344/.403/.747

        I was always impressed with the long careers Torreyes and Luis Rojas carved out.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree LukeJ. I am not sure Hamilton was a good comparison. He really never could hit.