MLB Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals Prospect Reynaldo Lopez Has Stephen Strasburg Potential

Washington Nationals

Getty Images

The Washington Nationals are keeping a close eye on young pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez.

The team’s front office is grooming the 20-year-old right-handed pitcher to be a dominating force on the mound. Lopez, who is currently playing in the Nationals’ farm system at Hagerstown, tosses between 94-99 miles per hour during his outings.

While Lopez is just in his third year in the team’s farm system, he is showing standout potential. This season, he had a 0.75 earned run average through 36 innings of pitching with the Nationals’ Auburn based affiliate; he also recorded 31 strikeouts with the team. From there, the Nats’ front office sent him up to the Single-A Hagerstown Suns where he is posting a 1.47 ERA through 36.2 innings of pitching. To go along with that, Lopez has 30 strikeouts, putting his numbers at just under one strikeout per inning in his overall 2014 play.

Lopez represents the future of the organization.

He, along with other young prospects like Lucas Giolito, show that the Nationals have a good eye for pitching; Giolito is 10-2 at Hagerstown this season. The young pitchers have much to live up to, but the team will be hyping Lopez in the next year or two if he continues to throw at Stephen Strasburg-type velocity. He is showing good command over his pitches and is maintaining the velocity on his fastball throughout his outings.

Pitching has been a foundation for success for the Nationals this season. They remain atop the NL East and must credit a strong starting rotation and bullpen for producing as needed. The team would like to continue that trend of a well-rounded clubhouse moving into the future, and prospects like Lopez will make that possible.

Harry Floyd is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @floydhe, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.