Kansas City Royals: Prospect to Watch, Nicky Lopez
The Kansas City Royals have a phenomenal middle infielder coming up through their farm system. Nicky Lopez added to his list of accomplishments Thursday night by hitting for the cycle.
Nicky Lopez picked the perfect time to hit his second home run on the year. The blast completed the cycle for the young slugger. He is another prospect to watch within the Kansas City Royals organization.
MLB Pipeline has Lopez listed as the number six prospect within the Kansas City Royals organization. While he is currently playing for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Double A, he is likely to earn some chances late this season. Or, at the latest, next season.
Nicky Lopez has the potential to be one of the leaders in the youth movement for the Kansas City Royals. Though it seems that Adalberto Mondesi may be Alcides Escobar’s successor at shortstop, Lopez has a fighting chance. But, he may have to find opportunities elsewhere. Whether that be at second base, third base, or in the outfield, he has enough athleticism to be successful in any position.
Lopez was drafted by the Royals in the fifth round in 2016. So far on the season, he has yielded an average of .332.
For the Naturals, he has knocked in 27 RBIs and has stolen nine bases. MLB Pipeline lists him as a 50-grade player overall, with his arm strength as his strongest suit at 60. Lopez isn’t a power hitter; he could probably be categorized as a contact hitter. He has only struck out in 7% of his at bats this season, which is a positive.
In a game where the Naturals scored 17 runs in a victory over Tulsa, Lopez was 5-for-6 at the plate. And to hit for the cycle, he went in order. In the first, it was a single. He added a double in the third and a triple in the fourth.
Nicky Lopez finished off the achievement in the sixth inning, with a line shot to right field. He finished his day with another single and finally a pop out to short. The second baseman had himself quite a game.
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He hasn’t gotten the call yet, and it may not come for a while. But Nicky Lopez is more than deserving of a shot in the big leagues. Especially with his positional versatility, Nicky Lopez is a strong candidate to receive playing time with the Kansas City Royals within the 2018 season, and beyond.