Down in the lower minors, the KC Royals have produced some promising prospects that are off to strong starts early on this season. We asked some questions with one of them.
We interviewed Nicky Lopez. A shortstop, Lopez was ranked in as the KC Royals #23 prospect, according to MLB.com. Slashing .320/.394/.448 this season, put along with a slick glove, Lopez seems to be a player with a bright future.
We gave him eight questions and he gladly answered them. Here they are.
- Q: Growing up and going to college in the Midwest, what team did you root for as a kid?
More from Kings of Kauffman
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
A: As a kid, even though I grew up in the Midwest, I was a big fan of the New York Yankees because of Derek Jeter. I just loved watching him play and tried to model myself after him because of how hard he played and the way he carried himself. But, since there are two teams in Chicago, I also rooted for the Cubs. My parents are Cubs fans, along with my brothers and grandpa, so I was one as well.
Q: What player(s) of the past or present do you try to mold yourself the most out of? Like is there a certain hitting approach or certain swing that you’ve tried to use from a player?
A: I am a huge fan of Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants because of the way he
plays defense and the way that he just plays the game hard. Also, I really enjoy watching Dustin Pedroia play because he gets the most out of himself, and in a way that is what I try to do. Both these guys play the game with a passion that is a lot of fun to watch.
Q: How much contact do you get with the major league front office while in the minor leagues?
A: In the minor leagues, there are many times during the year that coordinators, scouts, and
front office come to watch our games.
Q: Wilmington has been known as a tough place to play for hitters. Have you noticed this? Why do you think this is?
A: I definitely notice that the ball doesn’t travel to certain spots in the ballpark. There is a
difference between our field and some of the other ballparks in the league. As a team, we know what we are working with and because of that, we make the proper adjustments that we need to to be successful. In college, I played at Creighton University and our home stadium was TD Ameritrade, so I know a thing or two about big stadiums.
Q: What is the difference from playing in a college game to playing in a professional game?
A: For me, the biggest difference was the speed of the game. There were many adjustments
that I needed to make during my short season. The biggest difference for me was the pitching. There were velocities that I have never seen before, and in order to be successful at this level, I needed to make some adjustments to my stance and to my approach. Other than that, it is still the game of baseball.
Q: Advanced statistics have come a long way in baseball. What is your overall opinion on
them? What do you like/don’t like about them.
A: I think they are very interesting. I know that a lot of people like to look at them and that is
good. As a player though, you try to just not pay attention so much to stats, and just focus on how you can help your team win some ball games. I know these advanced statistics can track certain things, but there are certain things that they can’t track, like the competitiveness of a player, how hard they play, and how much fun they are having playing the game, and I personally believe that those are much more important because they lead to wins and success.
Q: You have two styles of play to pick from. Hitting for high average with low power. Or… hitting for low average with high power. Which one do you pick?
"KC Royals: Watch for Meibrys Viloria"
A: Hitting for high average with low power. This is because I do not hit with much power as it is, but there are many other ways to contribute to a team’s’ success and that is what I take pride in as a player. How can I get on base and let the guys behind me drive me in