Alejo Lopez takes his hot bat to the Steel City as the Reds battle the Pirates

Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez
Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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Reds infielder Alejo Lopez is receiving an audition for next year's team.

Make no mistake about it, the next six weeks will be Alejo Lopez's audition for the 2023 Cincinnati Reds. If the last 15 games are any indication, the switch-hitting infielder may very well find himself on the Opening Day roster when the Redlegs begin the 2023 season at Great American Ball Park.

There's no doubt that Lopez knows his way around the batter's box. Throughout seven minor league seasons, the 27th-round selection of the Reds in the 2015 MLB Draft has produced an impressive .298/.371/.392 slash line in 1,912 at-bats.

Fortunately, that nice batting stroke has translated at the big league level as well. In 92 MLB at-bats, the 26-year-old Mexican is hitting .283 with an excellent .340 OBP. Additionally, if it's versatility you're looking for, Lopez provides that as well. During his brief time in the Queen City, he's logged time at second and third base in addition to left and right field.

It's doubtful he'll ever become an everyday starter, however, there's always room for a utility player with a special skill set. For Lopez, that tool is hitting. He may never be Jonathan India or Eugenio Suarez, but if a 27th-round draft pick can become the 1995 version of Mark Lewis, Reds Country will consider that a win.

Prediction: Reds sink the Pirates at PNC Park.

The struggle has been real since the calendar flipped to August for these two clubs. Who will be having a blue Monday following the weekend series? Here's a hint, it won't be your Cincinnati Reds.

Look for the Redlegs to take two of three from the Pirates at PNC Park before continuing their Pennsylvania road trip with a visit to Citizens Bank Park to battle the Philadelphia Phillies beginning Monday night.