Lopes emerged on the radar a few years ago, and scouts have been chomping at the bit to finally get some good looks at him as the 2011 draft season really heats up.
Lopes is also the most well-rounded prep shortstop in this year’s class. He has at least average tools all across the board, but it’s his bat that sets him apart.
He has arguably the most polished bat in the entire high school class. He and Nicky Delmonico vie for the honor. He has great bat speed and is a spray hitter, not in the traditional sense that he’ll be mostly a singles guy, but rather that he can spray the ball hard all over the field.
Lopes is a guy who should rack up doubles like Craig Biggio. He also has the potential for slightly above average power.
In the field, Lopes has really stepped up his game.
Once upon a time, it looked like he was well on his way to third base, but over the past year and a half he’s put in a ton of work, smoothing out his movements and improving his footwork to the point he now looks like he can stay at short long-term. He already has the cannon arm for the position.
On the basepaths, Lopes has slightly above-average speed, and certainly has enough to steal 15-20 bases in the Majors. His speed will be put to better use turning singles into doubles and some of his doubles into triples.
If you’re looking for a comp for Lopes, several scouts have compared him favorably to 2010 first-round pick Christian Colon, who was also a five-tool shortstop with at least average tools across the board. Many experts, however, feel that Lopes has the potential to be slightly better, with a slightly higher ceiling.
Regardless, everyone who has seen Lopes play comes away convinced of one thing: this is one serious, professional dude. He has a very serious attitude once he steps onto the field, even if it’s just for batting practice, and doesn’t seem to be fazed by all the recognition and attention
That should only increase this season, as he’ll receive just about as much spotlight as any other elite high-school prospect, including teammate and fellow potential top-ten pick Henry Owens.