Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 126 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Giovanni A. Lopez is a 6’1″, 204 lb. right-handed pitcher from Oceanside, California, origin also of Trevor Cahill and former Miami Marlins pitcher Heath Bell. Born on September 16th, 1996, Lopez played three seasons of college ball across three different schools.
In 2018, Lopez pitched for the University of Missouri, getting into 14 games in relief for the Tigers. He struck out 17 in 14 innings, allowing six runs on 15 hits and 11 walks. His 1.86 WHIP was a little concerning, but the Miami Marlins liked something they saw in him. They drafted him in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.
No player chosen with the 687th overall pick has ever reached the major leagues, out of 53. Lopez aims to become the first.
After signing on the dotted line with the Miami Marlins for a $75,000 bonus, Lopez reported to the rookie-level, Florida-based GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League on June 21st.
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Lopez pitched in 10 contests for GCL, all in relief. He struck out 11 in as many innings, but surrendered eight earned runs on 10 hits and 13 walks. Lopez walked at least one batter in eight of his appearances, and surrendered runs in six of them. In probably his best performance of the season, he struck out one and walked one over 1 1/3 scoreless innings, in a 9-1 victory against the GCL Mets on August 8th. The team finished with a 25-31 record, finishing in a distant third in the GCL Eastern Division, 15 games behind the division winning GCL Cardinals.
Lopez is a low-risk kind of investment for the Miami Marlins. With nothing really to lose by giving him a little time to better work the strikezone, he could mature into something respectable in the next few seasons. The Miami Marlins should start him with the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League in 2019. With seasoning and continued progression, the earliest he would arrive with the Miami Marlins in 2023.
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