Can Nicky Lopez and Salvador Perez keep up their hot hitting after the WBC?
Nicky Lopez looked more last year like the player who hit .240 in 2019 and .201 in 2020 than the one who surprised the baseball world two seasons ago by becoming the first Royal shortstop to hit .300. He batted only .227. And he was 0-for-6 in Cactus League play when he and teammate Vinnie Pasquantino joined Team Italy for the WBC.
Fortunately, something clicked and Lopez found his stroke, pacing Italy at the plate with a 9-for-19 (.474) performance and seven RBIs in five games.
Like Lopez was for Italy, Salvador Perez was hot for Team Venezuela. Despite going just 1-for-4 in Venezuela's quarterfinal loss to the USA, he slashed .429/.467/.929 with a homer, four doubles and six RBIs overall.
Neither Royal will maintain such torrid bats. But just hitting well will help the club.
Another Royal poses a much different question for the Royals—will Vinnie Pasquantino start hitting after his World Baseball Classic experience?
Pasquantino, who appears to have the edge over Nick Pratto at first base, slumped at the Classic, managing only four singles in 20 at-bats and failing to drive in any runs. He was slashing .444/.545/.778 with a home run and four RBIs in four Cactus League games before leaving for the tournament.
Moving on to the next question...