Nicholas Lopez resides in Scottsdale, Ariz...Graduated from Naperville Central High School (Ill.)...Attended Creighton University in Omaha, Neb...earned All-Big East Second Team honors as a junior, hitting .306 with 11 doubles, five triples, two homers and 11 stolen bases...became just the 11th player in program history to be selected in the top five rounds of the Draft...Participated in Royals FanFest in 2020...established Nicky’s #1’s Initiative in 2020, in which he hosted Zoom calls with Royals community partners during the offseason...has also visited with kids as part of the Dream Factory, while he made a pizza donation to The University of Kansas Hospital Workers during the pandemic.
Appeared in 151 games in his third season, making 141 starts at shortstop and three at second base, while setting career highs in hits (149), runs (78), triples (6), RBI (43), extra-base hits (29), walks (49), stolen bases (22), batting average (.300), on-base percentage (.365) and OPS (.744)...Became the first Royals left-handed batter to hit .300 since Eric Hosmer hit .318 in 2017, and the first Royal to hit .300 while playing at least 75% of his games at shortstop...his .300 average ranked second in the Majors among primary shortstops in 2021, trailing Tim Anderson (.309)...Was optioned on March 28, but was recalled three days later after Adalberto Mondesi was placed on the IL with a strained right oblique...Among qualifying American League hitters, he tied for fourth in triples, ranked fifth in average, eighth in steals and 10th in on-base percentage...After going 0-for-5 on steal attempts in 2020, he went 22-for-23 in 2021, including 22 consecutive steals without being caught to begin the season, before he was thrown out on Oct. 2 by Minnesota’s Mitch Garver...had he not been caught in Game No. 161, his total would have tied Alcides Escobar in 2013 for the most steals without being caught in a season in club history and would’ve been one shy of Chase Utley’s Major League record in 2009, when he went 23-for-23...Lopez’s 95.7 steal success rate ranked second in the Majors to Bo Bichette (25-for-26, 96.2%)...Led Major League position players with 12 sacrifice bunts, which trailed only Adam Wainwright (14) among all players, and were the most by a Royal since 2011, when Escobar finished second in the Majors with 18 and Chris Getz tied for fourth in the American League with 14...Lopez is the first Royal to lead the American League in sacrifice bunts since Escobar paced the league with 10 in 2016...Tied for third in the Majors with six bunt hits, trailing Joey Gallo and Garrett Hampson (7) and tied for seventh in the American League with 21 infield hits...Led American League shortstops with a .987 fielding percentage (7 errors in 534 chances), and ranked third in the Majors to Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman (.993) and Cincinnati’s Kyle Farmer (.988)...after being charged with four errors in his first 28 games through May 4, he committed just three errors in his final 123 contests, posting a .993 fielding pct. from May 5 to the end of the season...that included 72 consecutive games as a shortstop without committing a single error from May 5-Aug. 13, setting a new franchise record that was previously shared by Rey Sánchez (2000) and Mondesi (2020-present), who both had streaks of 60 games, though Mondesi’s streak has since been extended to 61...According to Baseball Savant, his 25 outs above average led all Major League defenders at any position, five more than fellow shortstop Francisco Lindor, who ranked second...his 19 runs prevented were also tops in the Majors, four more than Tampa Bay’s Manuel Margot...After hitting .226 (36-for-159) through his first 59 games through June 13, he slashed .334/.386/.414 (113-for-338) over his final 92 contests...from June 15 to the end of the season, he led the AL in batting average (min. 330 PA), ranked second in on base percentage and fourth in hits...Recorded a career-best 31-game on-base streak from Aug. 21-Sept. 21, which was the longest by a Royal since Merrifield’s club-best 31-game hitting streak from Sept. 10, 2018-April 10, 2019...it was the longest streak by a Royal within one season since Billy Butler reached in 32 straight from May 31-July 5, 2013...his on-base streak was the third-longest in the Majors in 2021, behind Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco’s 43-game streak from July 25-Sept. 29 and the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu’s 37-game streak from June 10-July 28...Lopez slashed .380/.437/.457 (49-for-129) with 24 runs scored and 11 walks during his streak, leading the Majors in hits, and ranking second in the AL in average and on-base percentage...Ranked third in the American League (min. 50 PA), with a .344 average (21-for-61) in close and late situations (defined as a situation in the seventh inning or later, in which the batter’s team is in a tie game, ahead by one or the tying run is on deck)...After batting .246 in April and .209 in May, he hit over .300 in each of the last four months, batting .333 (22-for-66) in June, .338 (24-for-71) in July, .317 in August (33-for-104) and .328 (38-for-116) in September...prior to 2021, his highest average in full month was .289 in September 2019...Had a career-high 38 hits in the month of September, which tied for second-most in the Majors, behind former teammate Frank Schwindel (40)...Moved to the No. 2 spot in the batting order on Aug. 6 and hit out of that spot in 51 of the Royals’ final 54 games, in which he hit .330 (67-for-203)...Hit into a 3-6-4 triple play on a bunt attempt on June 6 vs. Minnesota to mark the Royals’ seventh triple play, and first since Hosmer lined into a 3-6 triple play on April 20, 2012 vs. Toronto...it was one of five triple plays in the Majors in 2021 and the only one on a bunt attempt...Had two streaks of four or more games with multiple hits, including a career-high five straight games from Sept. 7-11, which was tied for the fifth-longest streak in the Majors in 2021...also had a four-game streak from June 15-20...matched a career-high with three hits in three straight games from Aug. 27-29 at Seattle, becoming the first Royal with three consecutive three-hit games since Nori Aoki from Sept. 15-17, 2014...Tripled in consecutive games on July 29 vs. Chicago White Sox and July 30 at Toronto, joining Hanser Alberto (April 20-21 vs. Tampa Bay) as Royals to triple in back-to-back games in 2021, while the other 29 teams combined for 13 players to triple in back-to-back games...Hit a two-run homer off Houston’s Luis Garcia on Aug. 19, snapping a streak of 464 homerless at-bats, which was the second-longest active drought by a non-pitcher (Elias), behind only Magneuris Sierra (471)...recorded a sacrifice bunt in the first inning, becoming the first Royal with a sacrifice bunt and a home run in the same game since Omar Infante turned the trick on Sept. 17, 2015 at Cleveland.
Appeared in 56 of the Royals’ 60 games, making 51 starts, including 50 at second base and one at shortstop...Named one of four finalists among American League second baseman for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, along with the eventual winner, César Hernández as well as Danny Mendick and Jonathan Schoop...Ranked third in fielding percentage among American League middle infielders (min. 200 chances) at .991 (2 errors in 221 chances), trailing only Carlos Correa (.995) and Francisco Lindor (.995)…he went 40 straight games without an error from Aug. 1-Sept. 18...His six outs above average matched Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier for the Major League lead among qualified second basemen, and ranked tied for third among all infielders, trailing only San Diego’s shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (7) and Colorado’s third baseman Nolan Arenado (7)...Drew 18 walks in 192 plate appearances (10.67 PA/ BB) in 2020, after walking just 18 times in 402 plate appearances in 2019 (22.33 PA/BB)...All eight of his doubles came off right-handed pitching, while his lone home run came off Minnesota lefty Lewis Thorpe on Aug. 8...Batted just .191 (18-for-94) with four doubles, a home run and five RBI through Aug. 31 (32 games), before hitting .310 (13-for-42) with three doubles and eight RBI between Sept. 1-15 (13 games), but went 3-for-his-last-33 (.091) with no RBI in his last 11 games...Recorded his third career three-RBI game on Sept. 3 vs. the White Sox, including a two-run double and an RBI ground out...Matched a career high with three hits on Sept. 9 at Cleveland, his fifth three-hit game and first since Sept. 24, 2019 vs. Atlanta.
Made his Major League debut on May 14 vs. Texas and played in 103 games with Kansas City, slashing .240/.276/.325 (91-for-379) with 22 doubles, two triples, two homers and 44 runs scored…that includes hitting .281 (34-for-121) over his last 36 games (Aug. 5-end of season) ... Made 100 starts, including 71 at second base and 29 at shortstop ... His 68 double plays turned were tied for third most by an American League middle infielder from his May 14 debut through season's end, trailing only Yolmer Sánchez (92) and Jonathan Villar (74) ... His .990 fielding percentage at second base (3 errors in 314 total chances) ranked second in the American League (min. 70 starts) from his May 14 debut through season's end, trailing only Yolmer Sánchez (.991) ... Had an RBI single in the seventh in his Major League debut for his first hit and RBI…he was the first Royal to bat second in the starting lineup in his debut since Jeremy Giambi on Sept. 1, 1998 ... Hit safely in eight of his first nine games, in which he batted .324 (12-for-37) with a .405 on-base percentage (5 walks) ... Hit his first Major League home run off Detroit's Matthew Boyd on June 13 at TD Ameritrade Park, his home park where he played collegiately for Creighton University…it was the first Major League home run hit in the state of Nebraska ... He's the first Royals left-handed batter to have his first home run come vs. a left-handed pitcher since Mitch Maier hit his first career homer off Cleveland's Rafael Perez on Aug. 25, 2009 ... Had a career-high three hits four times: June 18 at Seattle, July 12 vs. Detroit, Sept. 19 at Minnesota and Sept. 24 vs. Atlanta ... Recorded a career-high 12-game hit streak from Aug. 16-29, in which he hit .357 (15-for-42), the longest hit streak by a Royals rookie middle infielder since Mike Aviles had a 12- game hit streak as a rookie from July 7-22, 2008 ... Went a career-best 44 straight plate appearances without a strikeout from Sept. 1-28, which was the longest active streak in the Majors, according to Elias, when he struck out in his final at-bat of the season…also had a streak of 37 plate appearances without a strikeout from July 23-Aug. 4 ... Struck out just 12 times in 160 plate appearances over his last 45 games from July 24 through season's end, one per 13.33 plate appearances, which was the best rate in the Majors during that time (min. 150 PA) ... Opened the season with Omaha (AAA), where he hit .353 (41-for-116) with a .457 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in 31 games ... After going 0-for-14 through four games to begin the season, had a nine-game hit streak with Omaha from April 9-19, in which he hit .462 (18-for-39), including three straight three-hit efforts, the second of which was a two-homer game on April 16 at Oklahoma City ... Selected on May 13, at which point he ranked among the Pacific Coast League leaders in stolen bases (9, tied for 4th), on-base percentage (.457, 5th) and batting average (.353, 8th).
Ended the year as the No. 7-ranked prospect in the Royals' organization, according to MLB.com ... Split the year between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA), batting .308/.382/.417 (155-for-504) between the two stops…led all Royals farmhands in hits and walks (60) and ranked third in runs scored (75) and tied for fourth in triples (7) ... Named a Texas League mid-season All-Star, starting at shortstop and driving in the North's first run on a ground out…also tabbed a MiLB.com Organization All-Star ... Hit for the cycle with Northwest Arkansas on June 21 at Tulsa, going 5-for-6 with four runs scored…became the first Natural to hit for the cycle since Bubba Starling did it on July 28, 2015 ... Promoted to Omaha on June 28, reaching Triple-A for the first time…at the time of his promotion, ranked third among Double-A batters in hits (93), sixth in batting average (.331) and tied for seventh in triples (5) ... Batted .296/.400/.439 (29-for-98) in his first full month with the Storm Chasers (July), but finished the year hitting just .242 (29-for-120) over his final 30 games ... Recorded his second five-hit game of the year on July 27 at Fresno, going 5-for-6 with a double and three runs scored.
Named Wilmington (A) Player of the Year, splitting the season between the Blue Rocks and Northwest Arkansas (AA)…combined to hit .279/.348/.356 (144-for-517) between the two stops... Selected to the Carolina League All-Star Game…started for the North Division All-Stars at shortstop and went 1-for-2 with a run scored and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot... Tied for third in the Carolina League in triples (7), despite playing in just 70 games before his promotion…would have tied for second in the league in batting average (.295) and third in on-base percentage (.376), if he had reached the minimum number of at-bats to qualify... Hit .303/.382/.416 (83-for-274) with 11 doubles, seven triples, two homers and 42 runs scored during the first half of the season…promoted to Double-A on June 26 and played his final 59 games at Northwest Arkansas... Recorded four, four-hit games including June 30 vs. Corpus Christi and Aug. 15 at Midland as a member of the Naturals... Played for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League…ranked second in the league in batting average (.383), collecting five doubles, two triples, two homers and 15 runs scored... Named to the AFL All-Prospect Team as well as a "Rising Star."
Spent his first professional season at Burlington (Rookie), hitting .281/.393/.429 (65-for-231)…led the Appalachian League in runs scored (54), tied for the league lead in triples (5), while also ranking second in steals (24), tied for second in walks (35) and total bases (99) ... Named a MiLB.com Organization All-Star as well as an Appalachian League postseason All-Star.