The Milwaukee Brewers continue to add depth around the fringes of their roster, and today brought another versatile young player with remaining minor league options into the fold. The club announced via Twitter that they have been awarded the waiver claim for utilityman Tim Lopes, who spent time in the big leagues in 2019 and 2020 with the Mariners.
Lopes, 26, began his career as a sixth-round pick of the Mariners in 2012 but was actually traded to the Blue Jays as a PTBNL for Pat Venditte after the end of the 2016 season. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2018 with Toronto but became a minor league free agent after the season and re-signed with Seattle. He started the year back in Triple-A in 2019 but broke into the big leagues for first time that July, then spent 2020 back in The Show with Seattle.
Lopes hit .270/.359/.360 in 128 plate appearances across 41 games in 2019 for a better-than-average 101 wRC+, launching one lone home run and stealing six bases. Lopes has never been a power hitter but showed the best patience of his career during his first big league stint, which unfortunately did not carry over into the 2020 campaign. His walk rate fell from 11.7% to 4.0%, dragging his line down to .238/.278/.364 for a 78 wRC+ in 46 games and 151 plate appearances.
Lopes is a .277/.339/.382 hitter in 844 games across eight seasons in the minor leagues, including a .290/.344/.422 slash line in 805 plate appearances in Triple-A. He’s played primarily second base in the minors, with some experience at third as well as plenty of time in the outfield corners during the past two seasons. He’s also logged one appearance on the mound. The right-handed hitter and thrower still has all three minor league options remaining. He had been designated for assignment by Seattle on December 18th after the signing of Chris Flexen.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs