Diamonds and Ice


Why isn’t this guy with the Kernels?
August 31, 2008, 3:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Was checking out some Orem Owlz players the other day. That’s where most of the guys on next season’s Cedar Rapids Kernels’ team will come from. Noticed first baseman Roberto Lopez was hitting a robust .395 in 63 games for the Pioneer League’s top team record-wise. He leads the league in doubles (26), RBIs (65) and hits (101). He also has 10 more walks (33) than strikeouts. If that’s not conquering a level, I don’t know what is.

Lopez is a soon-to-be 23-year old who played college baseball with Kernels second baseman Hector Estrella at the University of Southern California. So why the heck isn’t he helping the Kernels in the upcoming Midwest League playoffs?

He’s too old for the level he is at, essentially a college player in a league full of high school guys. Yes, the Kernels already have a capable first baseman in Gabe Jacobo. But perhaps Lopez could do some DHing or something.

There’s long been this conspiracy theory in Cedar Rapids about how Orem is stacked every season to appease longtime scout and manager Tom Kotchman, at the expense of the Kernels. That a guy like Lopez is hitting almost .400 and is still playing in Utah supports that theory.

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