I'm actually interested to hear some opinions on Felipe Lopez. Here's a guy who started off this season on a tear, sparking the turbines of the Cafe Hype Machine into action at the begining of the year.
Felipe was a former 1st round pick (8th overall) by the Toronto Bluejays in 1998. Currently 26 years old, Lopez had a mini-breakout last year launching 26 homeruns playing for the Reds at the Great American Ball Park for half his games. That same year, he won the Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive shortstop in the National League. This past season, he continued to produce during the first half piling up 9 Hr's and 23 SB's before the break; however, his power numbers dropped off significantly in the second half (only 2 homeruns). This power shortage coincided with his trade to the Nationals along with Austin Kearns.
Lopez is a guy who I reached for a round or two early in the first year of my main keeper league (6 keepers) because I felt that because of his age and position he could have, quite possibly, been a keeper for me going into next year (similar to Reyes or Rollins). What can we expect from him as far as power numbers going forward? For a year and a half, he produced the numbers of a 20 homerun SS with 40 plus stolen base potential.
Lets compare Lopez other somewhat similar SS's:
Here are there '05 and '06 stats:
Hit/AB R HR RBI SB AVG OPS
Felipe Lopez (26)
169/580 97 23 85 15 .291 .838
169/617 98 11 52 44 .274 .739
Jimmy Rollins (29)
196/677 115 12 54 41 .290 .769
191/689 127 25 83 36 .277 .812
Jose Reyes (23)
190/696 99 7 58 60 .273 .686
194/647 122 19 81 64 .300 .841
It is just me or does Lopez's 06 looks very simliar to Rollins' 05 (even with the hit streak)? Rollins will probably be considered an early 3rd round selection going into this year. Rollins severely dissapointed in '05. Why do people assume this will not happen to Rollins again or Reyes for that matter? A 12-13 homerun spike seems pretty suspect especially for leadoff hitters. It just seems to me that Lopez has much better "value" going into next as far as draft price is concerned.
As far as Felipe's team going into next year, it looks like he is going to be a Free Agent from what I have been able to find:
"Reds agreed to terms with shortstop Felipe Lopez on a one-year, $2.7 million contract.
Lopez asked for $3 million in his first year of arbitration and was offered $2.15 million. The Reds have only Adam Dunn left in arbitration."
If he leaves RFK he could prove to be solid value (again).
Does anyone have any other comments on Lopez? Or has everyone given up on him? I'm particularly interested in his power potential because he has not shown any signficant power prior to 05. He was the 11th ranked SS in 06 and 13th on J35J's list, is it out of line to think that he could end up top 5 at the end of next year? For some reason, I feel like 06 was an abnormally good year for shortstops.