In 2012, Lopez signed with the Nationals as an international free agent out of the Dominican, receiving just $17,000, via scout Virgilio De Leon (or was it scout Madesto Ulloa).
In 2015, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Reynaldo as the 3rd-best prospect in the Nationals organization. They had him at #5 in 2016. After the White Sox acquired Lopez in Dec., 2016, he was #3 in their farm system in the spring of 2017.
Lopez on Lopez: "Making my debut with the Chicago White Sox was something I was striving for since the day I joined the organization. I also think the fans were waiting and excited for that moment. The day I pitched for the very first time with Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Kansas City Royals was special.
"I was proud of myself that night because of all the work I put in since Spring Training 2017 and during my time with Triple-A Charlotte; it made all the work worth it. I finally received the opportunity to play at the highest level, and I knew I could do a good job—that night and in the future. However, I'm not overconfident. When I received the news about my promotion from Triple-A, I told myself I have to continue working hard and giving my best.
"With that mindset, I went out and made my debut with the White Sox (a 6-3 win over the Royals on Aug. 11). I think I made a very good first impression, which was one of my goals. That night, I pitched six innings with six strikeouts. In fact, I struck out the first batter of the game, but I wasn't trying to punch him out. I just threw a changeup to induce a groundball, but I ended up striking him out. That strikeout gave me more confidence.
"The best part of the day was my experience with the fans. They let me know from the beginning how much they loved me, and that I have their support. From the moment when I left the dugout to start my warm-ups, the fans started to chant my name: "López! López! López!" They were like that the whole game, and with every pitch, every strikeout and every out. That made me excited. It was beautiful.
"That support from the fans helped me to be motivated and focused during the game. I really hope it will always be that way with the fans. They will motivate me to be a successful pitcher at this level, and I want to bring them joy and happiness.
"There were times in the Minor Leagues when I was a little bit frustrated because I wanted to be here. At the same time, I understood that it was part of the process.
"This process is not done yet. At this level, there is still more to learn. There are many things that you just don't learn in the minors. Last year, when I made my MLB debut with the Nationals, I thought the key to success at this level was to throw your pitches down in the strike zone.
"One day, I asked Max Scherzer why he misses with pitches up in the zone. His response impressed me: "No, I don't miss with those pitches. I throw them with a purpose. You have to change batter's eyes. You can't just throw down or just throw up. A pitcher has to break the batter's view and perception of the strike zone."
"My learning experience in 2016 in the big leagues, along with the work and improvement in Charlotte this year, has made the biggest difference from my debut with the Nationals and my first start with the White Sox. Now, I have more experience, and I'm a better pitcher." (Lopez - mlb.com - 8/21/17)
Jun. 24, 2018: By Reynaldo Lopez
I'm ready and excited to become a father. This is the greatest blessing a human being can have. For me, it is everything. That is the reason why I feel happy, excited and nervous all at once. My baby girl will be my princess and the new light of my life.
Becoming a father has been one of my dreams during my whole life, just like becoming a Major League pitcher. This would be my biggest achievement. I feel very proud, because I've been able to accomplish each and every one of my goals. First, to help my family and provide for them. Second, I got married to an awesome woman who is now carrying the soon-to-be most important treasure of my life, and our life together.
Third, thanks to my work, my effort and daily dedication, I am in a position in which I can sustain my own family.The most important value of being a Christian is family; to build and maintain a happy family. Family is everything. I'm always thanking God, because He is the one who gives me strength and guides my steps.I have always felt the need and desire to be a father, and I believe I am ready. Everyone in my family always asks me for advice. I think it is because I am the oldest grandchild in my family, I have had to carry the responsibility of being an advisor for my sisters, cousins and other relatives.
Even though this will be my first experience as a father, I think I have the knowledge to manage and succeed in that role.I truly believe I know how to care for and raise my daughter. Of course, the real test will be once she is born. With God's will, I will do a good job as a father.The first thing I want to teach to my baby is to love God.
My family taught me to love God as a good Christian. I will teach her that God exists and is alive within us. I also will teach her values and reinforce them during her whole life. Values are important in order to be a good and humble person.
Zoe will be her name because I have always liked it since the first time I heard it from actress Zoe Saldana. My wife also likes the name because it means life and hope. She will be an extra source of motivation for me, for my life and for my career. Actually, she has been the force that has been driving me this year. Everything I do is for her.My life is going to change now that I'm having a baby. But it will be a good change. I am excited, my little princess Zoe, to have you with me and in our life. God bless you. (As told to Billy Russo)
July 13, 2018: At 5:00 p.m, the 24-year-old became a father for the first time when his wife, Jhilaris, gave birth to their daughter, Zoe.
- In 2012, Lopez signed with the Nationals as an international free agent out of the Dominican, receiving just $17,000, via scout Virgilio De Leon.
- Dec 7, 2016: Chicago White Sox traded RF Adam Eaton to Washington Nationals for RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Reynaldo Lopez and RHP Dane Dunning.
|Home:||San Pedro de Macoris, DR||Team:||WHITE SOX|
|Birth City:||San Pedro de Macoris, D.R.|
|Draft:||2012 - Nationals - Free agent - Out of the D.R.|
Lopez has a 93-100 mph FASTBALL with armside run (that averaged 97.6 mph during the 2016 season), along with an 11-to-5 power CURVEBALL at 76-79 mph that got tighter in 2016, has depth and freezes bats; and an improved 84-85 mph CHANGEUP that shows some late tumble, and good bottom. And he maintains his arm-speed so hitters have to gear up for 96-99 mph, making it hard to slow back down to hit an 84-85 mph change.
The separation between his fastball and changeup is very good, with the same arm speed making it deceptive. And he is comfortable throwing his changeup or curveball in any count, for a strike or a chase pitch.
His fastball gets plus-plus 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has a 55 grade curveball and his change is a present 45, with a future grade of 55 a possibility. And he has big-league-average control (a 50). (Spring, 2017)
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 63.5% of the time; Change 10.8% of the time; and CURVE 25.7% of the time.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 60.6% of the time; Change 23.4% of the time; Curve 13.6%; Cutter 2.4% of the time.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 60.5% of the time, his Sinker less than 1%; Change 15.5%; Slider 16.7%; Curve 5.5%; and Cutter 1.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96 mph, Sinker 94.3, Change 84, Slider 84.2, Curve 76.2and Cutter 86.2 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 58.5% of the time, his Sinker less than 1%; Change 14.8%; Slider 20.3%; and Curve 6.4% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.8 mph, Sinker 95.6, Change 84.4, Slider 84.3, and Curve 77.9 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 51.4% of the time, his Change 20.4%; Slider 28%; and Curve less than 1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.5 mph, Change 83.9, Slider 82.3, and Curve 80.6 mph.
In 2015, Reynaldo made some adjustments during the season, just minor stuff to his delivery to get consistency with his command. He made an adjustment to his front side, helping him create more leverage and downward angle with his heater.
His delivery still has some recoil at the finish, but he shows good command. He just needs to throw more quality strikes to stay a starting pitcher.
Lopez sometimes rushes his delivery and loses the strike zone. Eastern League managers noticed that happened particularly when he pitched from the stretch. For that reason, some believe Lopez might be best suited as a reliever. He has shown flashes of brilliance as a starter, however, so the Nationals will continue to develop him in that role.
A few scouts have questioned Lopez's rock-and-fire delivery, which starts with him hanging on his back leg and finishes with some recoil as he finishes. And Lopez is only 6 feet tall. Short, hard-throwing righthanders often get tagged as future relievers.
But by the end of the 2014 season, most scouts said it would be foolish to throw a reliever projection on him. “There’s minimal effort and a very good feel for throwing strikes,” said one pro scout.
He maintains quality stuff into the middle innings. A lot of young pitchers with his kind of stuff, it flattens out later, as he gets tired. But Reynaldo carries it, it doesn't do that. And his arm is loose. He holds his velocity late into games, when he's over 100 pitches.
Lopez has a compact frame, but his delivery features surprisingly little effort, giving him a chance to stick as a starter and become a top-of-the-rotation arm down the road.
Reynaldo has some of the quickest arm speed you will ever see from a pitcher.
2014 Season: Reynaldo finished 7-3, 1.08 with 70 strikeouts and 26 walks in 83 innings between short-season Auburn and Hagerstown.
2016 Improvements: Lopez went from being just a $17,000 signee at age 18 out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 to being a part of a big league staff. While his time with Washington has been uneven, he has shown the ability to dominate.
After a 2015 season in the Carolina League that was just OK, Lopez took off this season, going from Double-A Harrisburg to the big leagues, striking out 10.4 Minor Leaguers per nine along the way. That, along with a plus fastball and an outstanding curve, are reasons why Lopez became a prospect.
April 28, 2019: A career-high 14 strikeouts was recorded by White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo López.
- Entering the 2021 season, Reynaldo had a career record of 26-34 and 4.77 ERA, allowing 492 hits and 80 home runs in 490 innings pitched.
2013: Lopez missed most of the season with a sore arm that was eventually diagnosed as bone weakness.
Aug 18-Sept 1, 2017: Lopez was on the DL with strained back.
July 27-Aug 22, 2020: Lopez was on the IL with right shoulder soreness. He grimaced in pain and bent over on the mound after the 38th pitch in the frame, leading manager Rick Renteria and the training staff to check on him.
“We got him under some medication,” said bench coach Joe McEwing. “Hopefully, the inflammation within the 10 days will resolve.”