Former High Point-Thomasville HiTom, Nicky Lopez, made his Major League debut May 14 for the Kansas City Royals. Lopez got the start at second base and batted second in the lineup going 1-for-4 with an RBI, walk and a run scored in the Royals 11-5 win over the Texas Rangers.
Lopez was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Royals out of Creighton University. He entered the 2019 season as the eighth overall prospect in the Royals system having produced at high levels across every level of Kansas City's minor league system since 2016. In total he holds a .296 career batting average to go along with 44 doubles, 21 triples, 20 home runs, 133 RBIs across 352 games played. This steady production along with his elite defensive abilities helped him shoot through the Royals system and ultimately earn his debut last night.
"Wow, this is crazy. This is the way that I dreamed of it happening when I was a little kid." @nick3lopez shares his thoughts on his Major League debut and recording his first career hit. #AlwaysRoyal pic.twitter.com/QNmdaVDukg— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 15, 2019
The versatile infielder starred for the HiToms in 2015, batting .327 in 43 games played to go along with seven home runs, 22 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases to earn All-Star and First-Team All-CPL honors. Lopez marks the fifth former CPL player to make their major league debut in 2019, and the 122nd all-time. His debut also pushes High Point-Thomasville's major league alumni total to 13 all-time.
"I'm so excited for Nicky and his family," said HiToms head coach Brian Rountree, who coached Lopez in 2015. "I can't wait to see everything that is in front of him in his career. Nicky brings all the intangibles to the game - the commitment, the hard work, the hustle, the desire - all those things you can't necessarily measure with a radar gun or a stopwatch."
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 122 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.