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Royals' Lopez stays hot with two more hits in AFL

MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hitting a baseball is no simple task, but Nicky Lopez has been collecting knocks with ease in the Arizona Fall League.

The Royals' No. 11 prospect added two more hits to his collection on Wednesday as he paced the Surprise offense in a 6-4 win over Glendale.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hitting a baseball is no simple task, but Nicky Lopez has been collecting knocks with ease in the Arizona Fall League.

The Royals' No. 11 prospect added two more hits to his collection on Wednesday as he paced the Surprise offense in a 6-4 win over Glendale.

Gameday

After going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Lopez is batting .417 and has a hit in all nine games he's played.

"It's not easy, I know that," Lopez said after his sixth multi-hit effort. "I'm just trying to seek the fastball, that's the biggest thing to me. The best way to hit the off-speed is not see the off-speed, hit the fastball. I'm seeing it pretty well right now and hopefully it keeps going."

The 22-year-old is off to a fast start in the Fall League, and part of that is because he's feeling refreshed. Lopez, the Royals' fifth-round pick from the 2016 Draft, admitted he felt a bit fatigued after completing his first full season.

However, after taking some time off after the season before heading to Arizona, Lopez is back to feeling 100 percent, and the results are obvious.

"It was my first full season, had to get used to it," Lopez said. "But now I know what to expect, and the two weeks after were a pretty big help and now coming here, it's a lot of fun."

Video: Nicky Lopez on competing at the Fall League

While rest is a major factor, Lopez also made some adjustments to his swing.

After batting .295 through 70 games with Class A Advanced Wilmington, Lopez was promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas where he hit .259 in 59 games against advanced competition.

Lopez is facing off against more upper-level pitching in Arizona, but he has modified his swing a bit as he continues to develop.

"I've been working with the hitting coach here, getting some tips from them," Lopez said. "I've been standing up a little bit taller. I used to have a wide base and I was open a little bit, so I closed it up, narrowed it up a little bit, just going straight to the ball."

And he went right after the ball in Wednesday's win, reaching base in each of his first three plate appearances.

Lopez led off the game with a base hit and scored three batters later via an RBI groundout from Kevin Padlo (Rays' No. 28).

Video: Kevin Padlo talks about his Fall League experience

Francisco Mejia (Indians' No. 1, No. 13 overall) evened the score in the bottom half of the frame as he hit a solo homer, his second of the AFL. However, the tie game didn't last long as Lopez scored again in the third.

Lopez worked a walk to lead off the frame, stole second base and crossed the plate after an RBI single from Brandon Lowe (Rays' No. 13).

While Lopez did the damage early in the game, his Royals teammates -- Elier Hernandez and Nick Dini -- helped break the game open as each drove in a run in Surprise's four-run eighth.

Glendale attempted to mount a rally in the ninth as Yusniel Diaz (Dodgers' No. 5) and Bobby Bradley (Indians' No. 3) each came through with RBI doubles, but the rally fell short.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.