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Nicky Lopez (2B/SS, KCR) - Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 17% of Leagues

ANALYSIS: Nicky Lopez was not seen by many as a top player in the Royals farm system coming into the season, he was ranked as the team's eighth best prospect by MLB Pipeline. However, behind his strong bat-to-ball skills, he made his way to Kansas City just a few weeks into the 2019 season. Lopez spent parts of four season in the minor leagues, hitting .296 and striking out in less than 9% of his plate appearances while walking 10.5% of the time. Lopez also chipped in 69 stolen bases in his time on the farm, showing speed to go along with his contact abilities. Where Lopez is sorely lacking is in the power department, with only 20 minor league home runs, thought nine of those did come last season across Double-A and Triple-A.

Lopez has been in the Royals lineup in all eight games since being called up on May 14, playing second base. In each of those games, the second baseman has slotted in the two-hole between leadoff hitter Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi. This will provide Lopez plenty of opportunities to score runs, having scored five times already in those eight games. Lopez has not attempted a stolen base yet, however, you can count on those coming with the philosophy the Royals employ on the basepaths.

Lopez is worth an add in 12+ team leagues and AL-only leagues for sure. He currently has only shortstop eligibility, but will soon gain second base eligibility after he reaches ten games played at the position. While Lopez will not provide the power numbers, he will help boost a weak crop of second baseman with his high average, runs scored and stolen base potential. Whit Merrifield has settled into the outfield since Lopez joined the team so it seems the second base position is his to keep for the foreseeable future.

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!