Lopez, Lovvorn lead Royals going to Fall League

August 29th, 2017
Infielder Nicky Lopez is the Royals' No. 11 prospect per MLBPipeline.com. (MiLB)

KANSAS CITY -- On Tuesday, the Royals announced four players who will take part in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saguaros starting in October.

The group includes left-hander Zach Lovvorn, a 23-year-old right-hander who was a sixth-round Draft pick in 2012. Lovvorn is 4-8 with a 4.66 ERA this season for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

The others are catcher Nick Dini, infielder Nicky Lopez and outfielder Elier Hernandez.

2017 Arizona Fall League rosters

Dini, 24, was a 14th-round pick in 2015. He is hitting .322 with two homers and 25 RBIs for Northwest Arkansas.

Lopez, 22, was a fifth-round pick in 2016, and is the Royals' No. 11 prospect per MLBPipeline.com. Splitting time between Class A Advanced Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, he has hit .283 with two home runs and 38 RBIs.

Hernandez, 22, was an undrafted free-agent signing who has battled injuries this season. But combined between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, Hernandez has hit .317 with five home runs and 37 RBIs.

Mitch Stetter, the Royals' pitching coach at Class A Lexington, will serve as the Saguaros' pitching coach.

The Royals are expected to add three more pitchers at some point to the Saguaros.

The Arizona Fall League is a "finishing school" for prospects who are close to the Majors. Generally speaking, if a team sends a player to the Fall League, it's an indication that the club thinks he has the chance to contribute in the big leagues in the near future.

The league has a total of six teams, with five organizations represented on each. Every MLB team is required to send at least six players from its organization.