Lopez was assigned to minor-league camp Tuesday.
Lopez hit .278/.365/.417 in 57 games for Triple-A Omaha last season. He'll likely return there to make his case for a callup.
Lopez has gone 11-for-35 (.314 average) at the plate with three stolen bases in Cactus League play entering Thursday's game against the Rangers.
The excellent bat-to-ball skills Lopez has demonstrated throughout his career have again surfaced during spring training, as the 23-year-old has struck out in just five of his plate appearances. All but one of Lopez's 11 hits have gone for extra bases, however, and his lack of power will likely put a cap on his fantasy ceiling once he reaches the big leagues. Lopez has made a compelling case for the Opening Day roster, but it's most likely the Royals will send him back to Triple-A Omaha to play on an everyday basis with Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi already entrenched as the big club's starting middle-infield tandem.
Lopez is at best a long shot to break camp with the Royals, but the invitation indicates that the team likes Lopez and wants to give him a chance to work with the big-league coaching staff. He reached Triple-A for the first time in the middle of last season, posting a 109 wRC+ in 57 games for Omaha with an impressive 27:29 BB:K. With a little more seasoning in the minors, he could be knocking on the door sometime this summer.
Lopez was promoted to Triple-A Omaha on Friday, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic Kansas City reports.
Lopez hit a strong .331/.397/.416 in 73 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season. Don't expect him to be promoted again this year, though, as the Royals have talked about giving him a full year at the Triple-A level so he won't have to be protected on the 40-man roster this offseason. The 23-year-old projects as a fringe regular long-term, with a solid glove and a decent amount of contact but very little power.
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|2017||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||59||232||26||60||6||1||0||11||16||29||7||4||.312||.293||.259|
|2017||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||70||285||42||84||12||7||2||27||36||23||14||8||.376||.407||.295|