2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Pablo Lopez

by Nick Zaniboni
2021 Dynasty Baseball Pablo Lopez

Welcome back to our 2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week series! This week's 2021 Dynasty Baseball spotlight is on the Miami Marlins Pablo Lopez. Lopez is ranked 234th in our Dynasty rankings.

Last week I went over Boston Red Sox slugger Rafael Devers. Devers is someone who is highly touted in most Dynasty leagues. 

Lopez, on the other hand, is a bit more of an under-the-radar player in Dynasty leagues.

Just as a quick look behind the curtain here as I write here on Fantasy Six Pack. I typically will throw on some wrestling and type away. I am a big wrestling fan and I find Dynasty Baseball is actually similar to professional wrestling.

In your league, you will find some faces (good guys, think John Cena or Hulk Hogan) and some heels (bad guys, think Ric Flair or Eddie Guerrero). I will let my own league mates make the determination of what side I fall on in my leagues.

2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Pablo Lopez

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The Life of Pablo Lopez

Embed from Getty Images
The Life of Pablo lands towards the top of Kanye's discography for me. Oops, wrong blog, back to baseball.

Pablo Lopez was signed by the Seattle Mariners as an international free agent in July of 2012. Lopez spent the next few years recovering from Tommy John in 2014 and pitching in the Mariners system until 2017.

In 2017, Seattle traded Pablo to Miami with three other players for reliever David Phelps.

Leading up to the trade, Lopez spent his season in advanced A ball. He held a 5.02 ERA in 100 innings and was not seen as the "prize" of the deal.

However, scouts dubbed Lopez "a supreme strike-thrower" with impressive ground ball tendencies.

The Ascension

In Lopez's first full season in the Marlins system, he flourished to start the season. Between AA and AAA, Lopez logged 62.1 innings and found himself with a stellar ERA of 1.44. This earned Lopez his first call up to the big leagues.

Lopez would go on to start ten games for the major league club and find some success. During this time, he carried a 4,14 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Just as a comparison, these numbers were a little bit better than the league average in 2019. That average being an ERA of 4.49, and the WHIP of 1.33. However, his season was cut short due to a shoulder strain in September.

Lopez earned his spot in the Marlins 2019 rotation, and he had a pretty pedestrian season. Well, for one, the Marlins stunk and won a mere 57 games. He was responsible for 7.1% of the team's wins (five wins) and had a less than ideal 5.09 ERA. Things did get better in some areas, though, and he lowered his WHIP to 1.24. Lopez threw 111.3 innings and ended up striking out 95 batters.

Signs of Things to Come?

202o was a less than stellar year for most people. Pablo Lopez is not most people. Lopez showed in 2019 that he could be an inconsistent good major league pitcher. In 2020 he showed that he could be a consistently good pitcher for the Marlins. Lopez was dealing through the first month of the season. In his first six starts, Lopez did not surrender more than two earned runs and only gave up one homer.

The rest of the year was filled with two tough starts and three starts of more great pitching. One of those tough starts was a 29-9 thumping by the Braves. Lopez went 1.2 innings giving up four hits, seven runs, and four walks. This outing is explicitly a complete outlier from anything we have ever seen from Lopez. Lopez took the mound 11 times this past year; nine of those 11 starts were quality starts.

Pitch Usage

Check out his pitch usage comparing Lopez in both 2019/2020

4-seamer: 42.4%/ 26.6%

Changeup: 22%/ 29.5% *

Sinker: 16.3%/ 25.4%

Cutter: 0%/11.9% - **

Curve: 19.2%/ 6.6%***

* This is his best pitch, he has said that he has studied Johan Santana's change and it shows
**A completely new pitch in his arsenal
*** It appears Lopez realized his curve may not be as effective as he once thought

Expectations for 2021 and Dynasty Baseball

What separates Lopez from the rest is his soft contact. In 2020 Lopez was in the top 10% of qualified starters in exit velocity. His average exit velocity was only 85.7 MPH. If Lopez can continue this soft contact trend, he can be a great addition to your Dynasty roster.

Let's get this out of the way. Pablo Lopez is not an Ace in real life or Fantasy baseball. The keyword when evaluating Pablo Lopez is expectations.

He is the perfect pitcher to be your third or fourth starter. Lopez will give you innings and efficient innings at that. He will be decent for your ERA category and be generous in your WHIP category.

He is undoubtedly a guy you can trade for and not have to pay much to do so. Lopez is still only going into his age 25 season and Dynasty managers can look forward to another five years of reliable production.

Pablo Lopez 2021 Projections

12-10 W-L
3.84 ERA
1.20 WHIP

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Stephon February 18, 2021 - 12:26 am

Alcantara or Lopez?

Nick Zaniboni February 18, 2021 - 8:35 am

I would go Sandy, but it is probably closer than many would initially believe!

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