CHARLESTON, SC - After a late-season tear that placed Jason Lopez among the South Atlantic League's best catchers, the 20-year-old Venezuelan backstop was promoted to the New York Yankees Advanced-A affiliate Tampa Tarpons on Friday and will be replaced by catcher Jerry Seitz on Charleston's roster.
Lopez hit .393 (24-for-61) from July 22-August 9, ranking third in the league during that span. The Valencia-born prospect slashed .285/.330/.453 in his 72 games with the RiverDogs and was in the top-5 in average, on-base percentage, and slugging among SAL catchers with at least 150 plate appearances. He went 0-for-2 in a rain-shortened contest on Thursday, his last game with Charleston, but had previously reached in 14 of 15 games and matched a season-best, seven-game hitting streak.
The Yankees farmhand clubbed eight home runs and drove in 30 runs while scoring 35 times. Lopez had never hit more than one long ball in each of his first three professional seasons since being signed as a 16-year-old international prospect in 2014. Lopez also showed good speed on the base paths, tying the RiverDogs lead for doubles with 19 and swiping seven bases, tied with Hickory's Sam Huff for the most among SAL catchers.
Seitz, 23, joins the RiverDogs for his second stint in recent weeks after playing in three games from July 29-August 4. In his brief Holy City appearance, the Santa Barbara, Venezuela native went 2-for-11 with an RBI. The 2013 international signee is a .276 hitter in 133 career games and swung at a .274 clip in 22 games with Short Season-A Staten Island this season. Seitz makes the trip to Charleston from Tampa where he went 1-for-11 in three games.