Nicky Lopez

Nicky Lopez

27-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Kansas City Royals
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Lopez's BABIP-dependent hitting didn't work out in 2022, making his breakout in 2021 look like the exception rather than the rule. The infielder regressed to a .227/.281/.273 slash line with a .265 BABIP through 141 games last year, and once Bobby Witt established himself near the top of the order, Lopez often hit in the bottom third. Speed's about the only thing Lopez has going in his favor -- he stole 13 bases on 16 attempts last year while playing for one of the worst offenses in the majors. As if his future with the Royals could get much cloudier, Michael Massey's arrival to fill second base will likely leave Lopez as a utility man in his age-28 season. If he can't hit above .270, the complete lack of power in his bat nullifies any potential base-stealing boost Lopez could offer in fantasy. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $2.55 million contract with the Royals in June of 2022.
Misses third straight
SSKansas City Royals
September 20, 2022
Lopez isn't in the starting lineup Tuesday against Minnesota, Joel Goldberg of Bally Sports Kansas City reports.
ANALYSIS
Lopez has now missed three consecutive starts in the Royals' infield, sitting each time in favor of rookie Nate Eaton. He appears to have lost hold of his everyday role to Eaton, who will start the game at third base and bat ninth.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
9
2
13
79
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
7
16
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+20%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .590 309 35 2 26 6 .238 .297 .293
Since 2020vs Right .663 911 108 1 50 29 .265 .331 .332
2022vs Left .490 125 12 0 6 2 .207 .264 .225
2022vs Right .576 355 39 0 14 11 .234 .287 .289
2021vs Left .704 141 20 1 15 4 .288 .336 .368
2021vs Right .757 424 58 1 28 18 .304 .375 .382
2020vs Left .505 43 3 1 5 0 .162 .262 .243
2020vs Right .604 132 11 0 8 0 .231 .313 .291
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+5%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .661 617 82 2 46 20 .259 .317 .344
Since 2020Away .618 620 62 1 30 15 .253 .323 .295
2022Home .591 229 28 0 11 7 .237 .287 .304
2022Away .520 251 23 0 9 6 .218 .275 .245
2021Home .761 284 47 1 25 13 .297 .368 .394
2021Away .726 281 31 1 18 9 .302 .363 .363
2020Home .544 104 7 1 10 0 .206 .245 .299
2020Away .556 88 8 0 3 0 .194 .333 .222
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Stat Review
How does Nicky Lopez compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.46
 
BB Rate
6.0%
 
K Rate
13.1%
 
BABIP
.265
 
ISO
.046
 
AVG
.227
 
OBP
.281
 
SLG
.273
 
OPS
.554
 
wOBA
.252
 
Exit Velocity
84.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
21.9%
 
Barrels/PA
1.3%
 
Expected BA
.243
 
Expected SLG
.312
 
Sprint Speed
23.3 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
54.2%
 
Line Drive %
21.1%
 
Fly Ball %
24.7%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
Lopez's 2021 season would have probably gone unnoticed if it were not for a seven-game stretch in late August when he stole eight bases. Coming into the season he had just under 600 career plate appearances with a .586 OPS, three homers, and was just 1-for-7 on the bases. He should have been an afterthought for everyone. Two changes happened. First, he raised his BABIP nearly 80 points, pushing up his AVG, OBP and SLG along with it. Not all of the change was luck since his avgEV was up two mph, and he sprayed the ball all over the field. It helps that he has a good eye as seen by an 8.7 BB% and just 13.1 K% last season. His .365 OBP is nothing to sneeze at. Second, he became a real threat on the basepaths with 22 successful swipes in 23 attempts. The combination of getting on base and stealing bases meant the Royals had him hit him second, thereby affording Lopez the chance to accumulate almost 80 runs. The big question going forward is if he's a .340 BABIP or .260 BABIP guy or somewhere in between. With Lopez's complete lack of power, he needs it to be on the high side.
Lopez has been afforded ample opportunity, but he's been unable to build on his rookie campaign. Lopez's game is contact, so while it was encouraging to see his walk rate jump to 9.4 BB% in 2020, more than doubled his mark from the previous season, a jump from a 12.7 K% to 21.4% was disappointing. Further, Lopez was thrown out all five times he attempted to steal. The lefty swinger was especially poor against lefty pitching, slashing just .162/.262/.243 in that scenario, suggesting a platoon could be in his future in 2021, albeit on the more active side. Lopez will likely be given another chance at the everyday gig at the keystone as there isn't anyone else to challenge him unless the Royals move Whit Merrifield back to the infield. At some point, Bobby Witt will be ready, likely pushing Alberto Mondesi over to second. Until then, Lopez will offer empty batting average and little else.
Lopez made his major-league debut in mid-May after putting on a plate-discipline clinic (14.5 BB%, 3.6 K%) against Triple-A pitching for the first month of the season. He took over the starting job at second base but also saw time at shortstop after Adalberto Mondesi went on the IL, making 100 starts in total. The middle infielder had a 56 wRC+ in 2019, which would have ranked dead last in MLB among qualified hitters. Lopez is a plus defender but will need to lower his 62.2 GB% and improve his 4.5 BB% if he's going to have any staying power in his sophomore campaign. He did steal 15-plus bases each year in the minors, but he had only one stolen base after being promoted in May. The Royals are in full rebuild mode and lack quality depth behind Lopez at second base, so he will likely be given a fair shot to rebound in his age-25 season. Even so, his lack of realistic counting-stat upside limits his appeal.
Lopez has risen quickly through the minor-league ranks since being drafted in the fifth round out of Creighton University in 2016. He faced little resistance at the Double-A level over the first half of the 2018 season, walking 10 more times than he struck out with a 20.6% line-drive rate, resulting in a .370 wOBA and 127 wRC+ in 325 PA. His contact rate slipped a bit with the jump to Triple-A Omaha, but his K% was still just 11.3. Lopez maintained a double-digit walk rate and his power exploded in the PCL. He hit seven homers in just 57 games with the Royals' top affiliate, only three fewer than he managed in his first 264 professional games. It was nice to see a surge in that department, but it's tough to buy into the power given he's always been north of 50 percent with his groundball rate. Lopez will already be 24 on Opening Day and is never going to be a star player, but his bat profiles just fine in the middle infield.
More Fantasy News
Takes seat Saturday
SSKansas City Royals
September 17, 2022
Lopez isn't starting Saturday against the Red Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Sits Wednesday
SSKansas City Royals
September 14, 2022
Lopez isn't in the lineup Wednesday against the Twins.
ANALYSIS
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Left out of Sunday's lineup
SSKansas City Royals
September 11, 2022
Lopez is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
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Out of Tuesday's lineup
SSKansas City Royals
September 6, 2022
Lopez is not in Tuesday's lineup against the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Steals 13th base
SSKansas City Royals
September 4, 2022
Lopez went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and an RBI in a 3-2 win Sunday in Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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