Red Sox outfield prospect Eduardo Lopez celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday by having a very productive day at the plate for Low-A Salem in their doubleheader against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Batting sixth and starting in center field for both contests at Haley Toyota Field, Lopez went a cumulative 3-for-6 with one double, one home run, three RBIs, and one run scored as Salem split the twin bill with Myrtle Beach.
Over his last five games, Lopez has hit three home runs and collected six RBIs. On the 2022 season as a whole, the switch-hitter is batting .306/.364/.531 to go along with two doubles, all three of his homers, seven runs driven in, four runs scored, three stolen bases, five walks, and 19 strikeouts over 13 games spanning 55 plate appearances. He began the year on the injured list and did not make his 2022 debut until April 23.
Defensively, Lopez has seen all of his playing time to this point in the year come in either center or right field. Taking Sunday’s showing into account, the 6-foot, 187 pounder has now logged 72 innings in center and 17 innings in right while recording a total of three outfield assists.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Lopez originally signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in July 2018 and received a hefty $1.150 million bonus — the largest of the class — by doing so. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League the following June.
After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor-league season and injury limited him to just 11 games between the Florida Complex League and Salem in 2021, Lopez came into the 2022 campaign ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 35 and by FanGraphs as the No. 33 prospect in Boston’s farm system.
Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Lopez possesses a high baseball IQ and has “solid overall instincts” for his age. FanGraphs, on the other hand, notes that Lopez “is a fluid athlete with a smooth, well-connected swing from both sides of the plate and decent feel for contact” who also is an average runner “with good outfield instincts and a plus arm.”
Given his history, it feels safe to assume that the Red Sox will exercise patience when it comes to Lopez’s development. In other words, it would not be surprising if he spent the rest of the year with Salem regardless of how he performs. Could a late-season promotion to High-A Greenville be possible? Perhaps, but only time will tell.
(Picture of Eduardo Lopez courtesy of the Salem Red Sox)