Royals to promote prospect Nicky Lopez, move Whit Merrifield to outfield

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The Royals announced on Monday that infield prospect Nicky Lopez will be promoted to the majors ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers. Second baseman Whit Merrifield will move to the outfield to allow Lopez to become the full-time second baseman.

Lopez, 24, is the Royals’ No. 8 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He was performing well at Triple-A Omaha, batting .353/.457/.500 with three home runs, 13 RBI, 27 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 138 plate appearances.

Merrifield, 30, is no stranger to the outfield, having logged 637 1/3 defensive innings there in this major league career. He’s having another terrific season, owning a .286/.342/.512 triple-slash line along with six homers, 19 RBI, 30 runs scored, and seven stolen bases in 184 trips to the plate.