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Perkiomen's Lopez Could be Selected in MLB Draft
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2015-06-03

Perkiomen's School's Angel Lopez may be the next player from the Pennsburg school to be drafted by Major League Baseball in next week's draft.

        Levi Stoudt rarely had to think twice about throwing whatever pitch Angel Lopez called.

        "I loved throwing to Angel," Stoudt said. "I have confidence that whatever I throw, he is going to catch. He's so good at receiving the ball."

        Lopez, a 5-foot-10 senior catcher on Perkiomen School's baseball team, helped the team reach the title game of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association for the second straight year. He finished with a .314 batting average and registered a team-high 23 RBI.

        A native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, Lopez called his most of his own pitches. According to Stoudt, the catcher picked up opposing hitters' tendencies after one turn through the lineup.

        "Angel is really fun to play with," Stoudt said. "He brings a lot of energy. When he is doing well, the whole team is doing well."

        Lopez – who has committed to play next spring at Northampton County Community College - has impressed professional scouts with his defensive acumen, especially his throwing arm.

        Utilizing a quick release, the catcher was able to stymie opponents' running game. Professional scouts have recorded his pop-time - how long it takes for the catcher to receive a pitch and throw it to a middle infielder at second base – as 1.8 seconds, below the average (two seconds) for a quality high school catcher, according to Panthers coach Ken Baker.

        The coach said Lopez has to be the best throwing catcher in southeastern Pennsylvania.

        Stoudt called Lopez one of the best catchers in the state.

        Baker said there is a good chance Lopez is selected in next week's annual Major League Player Draft, which begins Monday and continues until Wednesday.

        According to the coach, Lopez might hear his name in the later rounds of the draft.

        "I would love to see that happen," Stoudt said. "It would be pretty cool."

        If his name is called, Lopez would be the fourth Perkiomen School player to be selected since 2000.  Jose Morales, a native of Puerto Rico, was taken by Minnesota in the third round of the 2001 draft. Morales played parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with Twins and Colorado Rockies from 2007 to 2011.

        The Colorado Rockies selected Miguel Valcarcel in the 32nd round of the 2006 draft. Four years later, Ian Vazquez – from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico - was taken in the 45th round by the Colorado Rockies.

        Lopez - who models his game after Yadier Molina, a Puerto Rican native and perennial All-Star catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals – has worked hard to cultivate his blocking and throwing skills. He said his ability to frame pitches, the method by which a catcher manipulates his glove to make a pitch appear like a strike, remains a work in progress.

        "Ever since I was a little kid, I've been working hard to get better behind the plate," Lopez said. "Getting drafted would be a thrill."

        According Baker, at least three Major League teams – Boston, the New York Yankees and the Phillies - have scouted the catcher this spring.

        The coach said Lopez participated in a private workout for a Red Sox scout prior to the 2015 season at an indoor facility near Chester.

        According to Baker, Lopez's throwing acumen in pregame warmups has nearly deterred opposing team's running games. He said few league opponents attempted to steal bases.

        The coach estimates that the catcher picked off approximately 10 runners on base. Stoudt estimates half of those occurred at second base with him playing shortstop.

        "If I see a runner getting a big secondary lead, all we had to do was make eye contact," Stoudt said.


 

 

 

 

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