Kansas City Royals: Catching up With Nicky Lopez

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Nicky Lopez /

Kings of Kauffman recently had the opportunity to interview three Kansas City Royals prospects. The final interview we conducted was with SS Nicky Lopez. Below is some background information on Nicky, as well as our interview. Enjoy!

You can check out an interview with Nicky that was conducted 9 months ago on Kings of Kauffman here.

Selected by the Royals in the fifth round of 2016’s June MLB Amateur Draft from Creighton University, Lopez is no stranger to playing baseball in the midwest. In his first professional season, Lopez hit .281 and drove in 29 runs in 62 games of rookie ball. Last season, he excelled in A+ (.295 BA, 27 RBIs in 70 games) and was subsequently promoted to AA, where hit .259 in 59 games.

Where Lopez truly flashed his potential was in the Arizona Fall League. In 20 games, he hit a blistering .383 with a .433 on-base percentage. A pair of home runs and 10 RBIs were just icing on the cake. To this point, Lopez has been praised for his excellent defense, speed on the basepaths and ability to get on base. Read our interview below for even more information on the 23-year-old prospect.

Q: You played in three different leagues last season, spending time at Wilmington, Northwest Arkansas and in the Arizona Fall League. How do you handle being moved through the minor leagues so aggressively?

A: “When I was drafted, like every other player, the main goal is to get to the Big Leagues and stay there. Being able to play at Wilmington, Northwest Arkansas, and the Arizona Fall League was something that I set out to do. It was just that much more of a blessing that I was able to do it in my first full season with the Kansas City Royals. So the way that I deal with being moved pretty fast is to just not make it seem bigger than it is.”

"“I look at it as a great opportunity to show the organization, my teammates, and the fans what I can do. Also, I just look at it as another day to play the game that I love. No matter whether it’s in Wilmington, Arkansas, or wherever I am, it’s just another day to play baseball.”"

Q: Many Royals infield prospects see playing time at more than one position. Has anyone talked to you about moving to second base in the future?

A: “For the future, my position, whether it is shortstop or second base is unknown. I have played a lot of shortstop since I have gotten drafted, but when I got moved up to AA, I began to play more second base. No one has really talked to me about what I might be playing in the future, but I just want to play, so I really don’t mind what position I play. As long as I am on the field.”

Q: Your play style is very contact-oriented and is supported by great defense and speed. Do you plan on using those skills down the road in the MLB, or are you already working on adding power to your arsenal?

A: “The one thing about me is that I know what type of player I am and for me to be able to identify that, it has really helped me produce and play throughout the different stages of the minor leagues. Being able to get on base however I can so that my teammates drive me in is very important to me. I know that I am not the type of player that will hit a lot of home runs, but me getting on base a lot helps the team just as much.”

"“I plan on using these skills the rest of my career. I take a lot of pride in my defense and I take a lot of pride in getting on base.”"

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you face as a player?

A: “I think the biggest challenge us players face is how each and every one of us deals and copes with failure. Baseball is such a game of failure that you need to have a plan, so if things aren’t going well, you know how to clear your head and keep pushing through it.”

Q: One goal you’ve set for yourself this season?

A: “To compete to the best of my abilities day in and day out and have fun playing, with hopes that sometime I will be able to make my debut with the Kansas City Royals.”

Q: What sets the Royals organization apart from any other?

A: ” The Royals organization has been a blessing to me. When I was drafted, I was lucky enough to come to a team that stresses and harps on the things that were stressed at Creighton University (defense, baserunning, playing the game hard). The thing that sets the Royals organization apart from any other is the family-like atmosphere here. They treat their players with such care and truly want the best for us, and I couldn’t have asked for a better organization to be able to play for.”

"“They way they treat us, it is easy for me to go out and give it everything I have for them.”"

Q: Use one word to describe yourself?

A: “Gamer.”

I’d like to thank Nicky for allowing me to conduct this interview. It was a great experience getting to learn a little bit more about one of the top prospects in the farm system. I, along with the rest of the team here at Kings of Kauffman, wish him nothing but the best of luck moving forward. I hope you all enjoyed this interview series as well.

Next: Catching up With Chase Vallot

What would you like to see next, Kansas City Royals fans? Let us know in the comments!