by John Viril—
Don’t look now, but forgotten prospect Johnny Giavotella is looking to walk his way back to KC. Largely written off by fans after a horrendous May in which he hit .244 with an OPS of .686, Giavotella has turned things around in June with a tidy .321/.465/.346 line. That’s not a mirage people, Johnny’s .811 OPS is driven by a slugging percentage that’s more than 100 points LESS than his OBP.
Giavotella’s surge has been based on patience rather than driving the ball for extra-base hits. Gio has a ludicrous 21 walks in 78 June ABs and a mere 2 doubles. While getting on base does not impress like hitting the ball deep, it’s still a skill that the Royals desperately need. Giavotella is making a case that he belongs at the top of a major-league batting order. At least Gio looks like he will force MLB pitchers to throw strikes.
Johnny Giavotella not only has his ability to get on base to recommend him. He’s also developed considerable versatility. Gio has recently logged games at 3B and LF as well as his typical position at second base. Since Johnny Giavotella hits right handed, he could be an on-base platoon machine for lefty 3B Mike Moustakas, as well as filling in at 2B.
The 26-year-old Giavotella needs to seize every game as an opportunity to get the call to KC. With Kansas City GM Dayton Moore admitting that there’s little help available on the trade market right now, Giavotella has the chance to become the internal help the front office most desperately needs. Moore indicated the trade market would likely loosen up as the July 31 trade deadline draws near, so Johnny Giavotella need to make hay. His window to force a call-up to KC could be rapidly closing.