Nicky Lopez has flown under the radar, but played well for the KC Royals.
Nicky Lopez’s sudden turnaround has been discussed before, but bears another look.
After hitting a combined .228 in April and May, Lopez performed magnificently, slashing .333/.413/.348 in June. And in 10 July games, he’s hit .281.
Overall, he’s slashing .265/.350/.326 with a .676 OPS. This significantly beats his 2020 average of .201 and 2019 average of .240. His BABIP this season is .310 and he’s recorded 11 extra-base hits.
Although he doesn’t hit for power (he has no home runs this season), and has only 15 RBIs, Lopez has quietly become an on-base machine. He has 61 hits and his 30 walks trail only Carlos Santana’s 59 and Jorge Soler’s 31 on the club. The walks are attributable to Lopez seeing an average of 3.985 P/PA and increasing his walk percentage from a combined 6.95 in 2019-2020 to 11.2 this season.
Lopez has also scored 35 runs and is second on the team with eight stolen bases; only Whit Merrifield (24) has stolen more.
And, of course, he’s been a more than adequate defensive replacement for Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop, notching an above league average .985 fielding percentage to go with 76 putouts. He’s committed only four errors.
Though he’s flown under the radar in terms of performance, Lopez’s contributions have not gone unnoticed by the KC Royals.
Despite a tough year for Kansas City, Salvador Perez, Andrew Benintendi, and Nicky Lopez have performed well through the season’s midpoint.