Lopez is the 339th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Eau Claire Express alum Irving Lopez made his Major League debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Lopez is the 339th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Lopez, who played collegiately at Florida International University, played for the Express in 2015. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
In 2015 with the Express, Lopez played in 25 games and hit .232 with one home run, five doubles and five stolen bases. He scored 13 times and drove in 12.
Lopez started his professional career in 2017 with the Johnson City Cardinals of the Rookie Level Appalachian League. After 50 games he was sent to the State College Spikes of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. Between the two clubs he played in 51 games and hit .286 with five home runs, eight doubles and two triples. He stole six bases and drove in 28.
In 2018 Lopez started the season with the Peoria Chiefs of the Lo-A Midwest League. He played in 77 games with Peoria and then was promoted to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Hi-A Florida State League. Over 110 games he hit .280 with six home runs, 26 doubles and 60 runs scored. He drove in 48 and stole two bases.
Lopez started the 2019 season with the Springfield Cardinals of the AA Texas League. He would play in 84 games in Springfield before being promoted to the Memphis Redbirds of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Between the two clubs he hit .262 in 105 games with 11 home runs, 35 RBI and 63 runs scored.
In 2021 he once again started with Springfield and ended with Memphis. Lopez played in 80 games and hit .233 with three home runs, three triples and ten doubles.
Lopez started the 2022 season in Springfield again and then was promoted, after 49 games, back to Memphis. He played in a total of 75 games and hit .257 with 13 doubles and three home runs.
Prior to his call-up to the Cardinals, Lopez had once again split his time between Springfield and Memphis. Overall, he was hitting .260 with nine home runs, 17 doubles and 53 RBI. In his Major League debut against the San Diego Padres, Lopez started the game at third base and went 0 for 3 at the plate.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 335 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (TEX), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.