Jack López

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Note: This page is for 2020s infielder Jack López; for others with the same name, click here.

Jack Henry López

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jack López was named to the Puerto Rican national team and the USA national team and won a silver medal in the 2020 Olympics before making his major league debut. He is the son of coach Juan López and the nephew of Onix Concepción. [1]

While born in Puerto Rico, he attended high school in the US. He hit .462 with 10 homers as a high school senior and had a scholarship offer to the University of Miami. [2] The Kansas City Royals took him in the 16th round of the 2011 amateur draft (two picks before Ryan Merritt) and he opted to sign; the scout was Colin Gonzales. [3] He split the summer between the Idaho Falls Chukars (5 for 13, 3B, 6 R in 4 H) and the Kane County Cougars (.222/.271/.222 in 64 G). He stole 15 bases in 19 tries overall.

With the 2013 Wilmington Blue Rocks, he batted .230/.297/.301 with six triples and stole 27 bases in 38 tries. He tied Irving Falu and Brandon Dulin for 6th in the Royals chain in triples and was 4th in steals (between Ethan Chapman and Justin Trapp). He tied Rougned Odor and Luis Sardiñas for 5th in the Carolina League in swipes and tied for 7th in triples. He hit .264/.307/.395 for the Cangrejeros de Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League with 6 steals in 7 tries and 18 runs in 35 doubles. He was third in the league in steals (behind Billy Hamilton and Falu) and won Rookie of the Year. [4]

Returning to Wilmington in 2014, he was used more at 2B than SS and his batting line slipped to .215/.274/.279; he stole 23 bases in 32 attempts. He was 10th in the league in steals this year, 5th in the Royals farm system. Baseball America rated him as having the best infield arm in the Kansas City chain. [5] Starting at second for Santurce that winter, he fielded .981 but batted only .227/.278/.270.

In a third go-around with Wilmington, he fielded .948 at short in 2015 and hit .238/.299/.319. He was just 13-for-23 on steal attempts. He still made Puerto Rico's team for the 2015 Premier 12. Starting at short, he hit .263/.364/.316 with four runs in six games, fielding .966. He tied Dickie Joe Thon for third on the team in runs. [6] He did not play in Puerto Rico that winter, but struggled with the 2016 Northwest Arkansas Naturals, producing at a .187/.232/.288 clip while serving in a utility capacity.

López was at second base with the Tiburones de Aguadilla in 2016-2017, hitting .269/.310/.317. He hit better for the '17 Naturals (.281/.332/.366) and stole 19 bases in 26 tries. He also made it to AAA with the Omaha Storm Chasers (.145/.197/.177 in 18 G). He was 7th in the Texas League in steals. He had a solid winter for the Criollos de Caguas (.302/.333/.377). In 2018, he hit .251/.279/.352 as a utility man for Omaha. He followed with a strong campaign for Caguas (.355/.407/.514, 4 3B, 22 R in 33 G). He finished second in the league in average (.020 behind Kennys Vargas), tied Jay González for the run lead, was second with 38 hits (4 behind Iván DeJesús Jr.), tied A.J. Jimenez for second in doubles (9), led in triples (one ahead of Jesmuel Valentín), was 4th in OBP (between Vimael Machin and DeJesús), was 2nd in slugging (.110 behind Vargas) and was second to Vargas in OPS. [7] In the 2019 Caribbean Series, he was 4 for 12 with two walks and a double, reinforcing Santurce and splitting third base with David Vidal.

Moving to the Atlanta Braves system for 2019, he was still only 26 years old. He hit .273/.317/.418 with 12 homers (a new high) for the Gwinnett Stripers, mostly playing third base. Back with Puerto Rico for the 2019 Premier 12, he was 0 for 3, splitting second base with Luis Mateo and Valentín. [8] In the winter, he slumped to .208/.339/.250 for Santurce. He was better in the 2020 Caribbean Series - .310/.310/.345, 3 R, 3 RBI in 6 G; he tied for 7th in the Series in RBI and tied Joey Meneses for the most hits (9).

The 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. He hit .179/.373/.282 for the Indios de Mayagüez in the winter of 2020-2021. He was 2 for 6 in the 2021 Caribbean Series, reinforcing Caguas; he backed up Machin at 2B and Emmanuel Rivera at third base. He began 2021 well in the Boston Red Sox chain then was named to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics. [9] When he played in Tokyo, he became the first person to play for the US Olympic team and for Puerto Rico; J.C. Romero had come close, playing for the US in the qualifiers for the 2000 Olympics and for Puerto Rico in multiple World Baseball Classics. He hit .143/.200/.143 and fielded .833, taking over center field for Bubba Starling when Starling was injured. Both of his hits came in the semifinal win over defending Gold Medalist South Korea; the US took Silver. [10]

He made his major league debut for the Red Sox one month after the end of the games in which the U.S. won a Silver Medal, starting at second base on September 1st against the Tampa Bay Rays and going 0 for 4. At age 28, he was on the older side for a rookie; he was called up when Xander Bogaerts joined a bunch of Red Sox on the COVID-19 list. [11]


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