Nicky Lopez

Last updated

Nicky Lopez
Nicky Lopez 2019.jpg
Lopez with the Kansas City Royals in 2019
Kansas City Royals – No. 8
Second baseman
Born: (1995-03-13) March 13, 1995 (age 26)
Naperville, Illinois
Bats: LeftThrows: Right
MLB debut
May 14, 2019, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
(through June 4, 2021)
Batting average .227
Home runs 3
Runs batted in 53
Teams

Nicholas Lopez (born March 13, 1995) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Contents

Career

Amateur career

Lopez attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois. In 2013, as a senior, he batted .398. [1] After high school, he enrolled and played college baseball at Creighton University. [2] In 2016, his junior season, he hit .306 with two home runs and 22 RBIs in 55 games. After the season, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. [3] [4]

Professional career

Lopez made his professional debut with the Burlington Royals [5] and spent the whole 2016 season there, posting a .281 batting average with six home runs, 29 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 62 games. In 2017, he spent time with both the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, batting a combined .279 with two home runs, 38 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and a .704 OPS in 129 games. [6] [7] After the season, the Royals assigned Lopez to the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League. [8] He began 2018 with Northwest Arkansas and was promoted to the Omaha Storm Chasers in June. In 130 total games between the two clubs, Lopez batted .308/.382/.417 with nine home runs and 53 RBIs. [9]

Lopez began 2019 back with Omaha. [10] On May 14, his contract was selected and he was called up to the major leagues for the first time. [11] He made his debut that night versus the Texas Rangers. [12]

Overall with the 2020 Kansas City Royals, Lopez batted .201 with one home run and 13 RBIs in 56 games. [13] He had the lowest slugging percentage of all qualified hitters in the AL, at .266. [14] Lopez was nominated for the Gold Glove at second base, having erroneously been omitted from the initial list of finalists. [15] He eventually lost out on the award to César Hernández of Cleveland.

During 2021 Spring Training, Lopez switched his number from 1 to 8 to allow Jarrod Dyson to wear number 1. Having hit .118 in 34 at-bats in Spring Training, Lopez was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, with Whit Merrifield expected to assume the starting second baseman role. [16] However, an injury to shortstop Adalberto Mondesí in the final game of Spring Training forced him onto the injured list, and Lopez began the regular season as the Royals shortstop. [17] Mondesí was activated and made his season debut on May 25, but returned to the injured list with a separate injury on June 6. [18] [19] Lopez was listed on the Royals All-Star ballot at the designated hitter position, despite not having played a game there during the season, as the team put Mondesí on the ballot at shortstop and Merrifield at second base. [20]

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References

  1. Baumgartner, Blake (May 16, 2019). "'I wanted to take it all in': Nicky Lopez the first Naperville Central player to reach the major leagues". chicagotribune.com. Naperville Sun. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  2. "In a groove at the plate, Jays' shortstop Nicky Lopez adds to skills with the glove | Creighton". omaha.com. March 24, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  3. Chasen, Scott (January 20, 2016). "Royals pick Nicholas Lopez overcomes adversity | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  4. "Creighton junior shortstop Nicky Lopez turning pro after being selected in MLB draft | Creighton". omaha.com. June 10, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  5. Bob Sutton. "He's stealing the show: Burlington Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez keeps energy high, mood light - Sports - The Times-News - Burlington, NC". The Times-News. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  6. "Nicky Lopez Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  7. "Big jump for Blue Rocks starting shortstop Nicky Lopez". Delawareonline.com. April 5, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  8. "Surprise Saguaros Active Roster". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  9. "Nicky Lopez Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  10. Boone, Tony (March 27, 2019). "Former Creighton standout Nicky Lopez ready for Omaha, with an eye on Kansas City". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  11. Lynn Worthy and Blair Kerkhoff (May 13, 2019). "Hot-hitting Royals prospect Nicky Lopez is headed to the major leagues". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 14, 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  12. "Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals Box Score, May 14, 2019". Baseball Reference. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  13. https://www.mlb.com/player/nicky-lopez-670032?stats=career-r-hitting-mlb&year=2020
  14. O'Brien, Kevin (October 23, 2020). "Looking at Nicky Lopez's weird Gold Glove nomination announcement (and candidacy)". The Royals Reporter.
  15. Rogers, Anne (March 28, 2021). "Lopez optioned to Triple-A after tough spring". MLB.com.
  16. Rogers, Anne (March 31, 2021). "Notes: Mondesi on IL; Isbel incoming". MLB.com.
  17. Rogers, Anne (May 25, 2021). "Mondesi: It's good to be back with Royals". MLB.com.
  18. Rogers, Anne (June 6, 2021). "Mondesi (left hamstring strain) lands on IL". MLB.com.
  19. Rieper, Max (June 3, 2021). "Nicky Lopez is the Royals DH on the All-Star ballot, so let's vote him in". Royals Review.