Height: 5 – 10
Age: 18 (3/16/98)
Jason Lopez signed with the New York Yankees as an international (non-drafted) free agent on 7/2/14 for $100,000. The Valencia, Venezuela native was a part of the Yankees huge international spending spree that cost the organization roughly $30 million. As a catcher, Lopez plays a premium position and his highly touted for his defensive skill set.
Lopez made his professional debut with one of the two Yankee Dominican Summer League teams in 2015. In 42 games, he went 25-146 off of opposing pitchers, earning a .240/.337/.301 batting line. Jason collected 6 doubles, 1 home run, 22 walks, and 19 runs batted in. On the base paths, he was successful 11 times in steal attempts. Defensively, Lopez threw out an astonishing 36 of 79 base runners, earning a way above average 45.6 caught stealing percentage. To put this stat into perspective, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, led all of Major League Baseball in 2015 by throwing out base runners at a 41.3% clip.
There is little question that Lopez will stick behind the plate as he climbs through the minor league ranks. As a former infielder, he is incredibly athletic and has tremendous upside as a catcher. His offense is the main question mark. It will be interesting to see if his bat will play at the higher levels. The encouraging sign, is his impressive plate discipline and ability to draw walks at such a young age. If he can indeed develop as a hitter, Lopez will become one of the Yankees better prospects. Keith Law has already mentioned his name as one of the prospects to watch for in the future when he published his annual write up on the Yankees’ farm system earlier this season.