Lopez, who hit .311 at Waterfront Park, home of the Trenton Thunder, hit slightly worse on the road (.273). But four of his five home runs came at home at the AA level and he tallied more RBI and runs scored at Waterfront Park despite playing four more road games for the Thunder. For the Clippers, Cooper Stadium wound up being a house of horrors for Lopez. He hit just .129 at Columbus' home and an outstanding .301 in visiting International League ballparks. Throw in the fact that all three of his AAA home runs came on the road, there's no disputing where Lopez would rather have batted at the highest minor league level this past season.
If there's one consistent tendency to be taken from his home versus road splits in 2005, it would be that Lopez is not phased at all hitting on the road. He hit a combined .283 on the road between his two minor league stops this past season, 27 points higher than his overall career batting average entering the 2005 season. That is what many would call serious progress.
Still, his .270 batting average with Trenton the rest of the year was considerably higher than his .256 career average. His lowest monthly batting average was in July (.188), a month that saw him split time with Columbus and Trenton. Otherwise, his monthly totals were quite consistent along that .270 mark the entire year.
21.5% of his hits against lefties went for extra-base hits, which was actually slightly lower than his 22.4% extra-base hit percentage against right-handed batters. However, half of his season home run total came against lefties despite accumulating 197 less at-bats against them in comparison to righties. His power against left-handed pitching could give him a legitimate shot at the Major Leagues someday.
7 of his 8 home runs in 2005 came batting either first or second in the batting order. The majority of his at-bats came hitting atop the lineups, giving him more of a consistent approach at the plate. The Yankees would most likely like to see Lopez have more success at the bottom of the order, especially in 2006, if Lopez is to get some time as a bench player for the Yankees in the future.
Overall, between his two stops, Lopez hit a combined .304 with runners in scoring position in 2005 and .283 leading off an inning, showing his versatility in different hitting situations in 2005. He hit a combined .270 with runners on base for Trenton and Columbus and .266 with the bases empty. While his splits show he was better in the clutch, overall they show he's more than adequate in any hitting situation.
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