Rafael Manuel Lopez...is the son of Rafael and Wanda...has a twin sister, Alessandra and one brother, Gabriel... drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 16th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft from Florida State University... transferred to FSU after stints with Boston College and Indian River Community College in Florida...attended Summit Christian High School (Wellington, FL)... has a chihuahua whippet mix named Nalla and a greyhound named Sophie... favorite TV show is This Is Us and his favorite actress is Jennifer Aniston...all-time favorite baseball player is Ken Griffey Jr...roots for the Florida Panthers and the St. Louis Blues.
Split the season between New Hampshire (AA), Buffalo (AAA) and the Toronto Blue Jays...Had his contract purchased from the minors on 8/4 after hitting .293 with 13 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 34 RBI over 59 games with Buffalo...Made 17 total starts behind the plate for TOR...over his final 12 starts, he hit .313 (10-for-32) with four extra-base hits and 10 RBI with a .405 on-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage...Drove in 12 runs over his last 16 games with TOR...Of the five backup catchers employed by the Jays in 2017, led with a .222 average, four home runs and 12 RBI...of his 12 RBI, 10 came in multi-RBI efforts...Hit his first career home run on 8/23 at TB,a solo shot off Austin Pruitt...Hit his fourth long ball of the season on 9/20 vs. KC, which was his first home run in a game he did not start...Produced a .288/.370/.563 slash line in 73 games between New Hampshire and Buffalo...hit 14 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs and 45 RBI.
Spent the majority of the season with Louisville (AAA) while also making eight appearances for CIN...Penned a minor league contract with the Reds in early May...Was called-up on 8/4/16 at HOU and went hitless in seven at bats for the Reds...In his 47 games with Louisville, hit .213 (33-for-155) with 10 doubles, one home run, 17 RBI and 12 runs scored.
Split the season between Iowa (AAA) of CHC and Salt Lake (AAA) of LAA...Began the season with the Iowa Cubs and slashed .276/.333/.340 with eight doubles, 17 RBI, 14 walks and 14 runs scored over 46 games...Designated for assignment on 6/27 and was traded to LAA on 7/3...assigned to Salt Lake the same day...Appeared in 21 games for Salt Lake, posting a .242 average with two doubles, one homer, seven RBI and 10 runs scored.
Rafael made his major league debut as a September call-up for Chicago after he hit .290 (103-for-355) with 38 runs, 17 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 51 RBI in 106 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa...Appeared in seven September games for the Cubs, and batted .182 (2-for-11) with one RBI and two walks...Selected by the Cubs, September 2, and made his major league debut that night vs. the Brewers as a pinch-hitter (0-for-1)...Recorded his first major league hit (a single) and RBI (via a sac fly) off Clayton Kershaw, September 19 vs. the Dodgers...Batted .313 (86-for-275) against right-handed pitching in the minors...Began the season with Tennessee, and hit .297 (44-for-148) in 45 games with the Smokies...Had a .412 on-base percentage thanks in part to 29 walks compared to 26 strikeouts...Promoted to the Triple-A level for the first time in his career, June 3...Hit .285 (59-for-207) with four doubles, one triple, one home run and 27 RBI in 61 games for Iowa.
In his first action at the Double-A level, Rafael set career highs in nearly every offensive category, batting .247 (78-for-316) with 22 doubles, eight homers and 43 RBI in 95 games with Tennessee ... Named a Southern League mid-season All-Star ... Hit .263 (63-for-240) with eight homers and 38 RBI against right-handed pitching, compared to a .197 mark (15-for-76) with no homers and five RBI against lefties ... Hit .272 (25-for-92) with three homers and 36 RBI with runners in scoring position and .304 (14-for-46) with two homers and 19 RBI with RISP and two outs ... Played 88 games at catcher, one at first base and two as the designated hitter ... Threw out 27.1-percent of runners trying to steal (29-of-107).
Combined to bat .279 (70-for-251) with 19 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 28 RBI in 70 games between Single-A Peoria, Rookie League Mesa and Single-A Daytona. ...Recorded a .355 on-base percentage on the year ... drew 31 walks compared to 31 strikeouts in 288 plate appearances....Missed time on the minor league disabled list with a concussion, May 24-July 11....Joined Daytona following his D.L. stint, and batted .269 (32-for-119) with 10 doubles, two homers and 12 RBI in 35 games....Hit .282 (24-for-85) with a .361 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching at Daytona....Began the season with Peoria, and hit .265 (31-for-117) with seven doubles, a triple and 12 RBI in 31 games ... walked 17 times compared to 13 strikeouts....Played three games with Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rico Winter League.
In his first pro season, hit .319 (66-for-207) with nine doubles, six home runs and 39 RBI in 57 games between Rookie League Mesa and Single-A Boise. ...Spent a majority of the season with Boise, hitting .316 (62-for-196) in 54 contests ... had a .381 on-base percentage....Hit .320 (16-for-50) off lefties and .315 (46-for-146) off right-handers with Boise....Posted a .476 batting average (26-for-55) with runners in scoring position....Played 29 games behind the plate with Boise, throwing out 12 of 34 baserunners attempting to steal (35.3 percent).