Royals Prospect Review: Johnny Giavotella Should Be Next Man Up

SURPRISE AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Johnny Giavotella #73 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait on February 23 2011 at Suprise Stadium in Surprise Arizona.. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Giavotella would fill a huge void for the Royals middle infield.

Last year, Johnny Giavotella started at second base in the Texas League (AA) All-Star Game. This season, Giavotella is starting for the Pacific Coast League (AAA) All-Star Game. One has to wonder whether he'll be doing the same in the major leagues this time next season or at least the near future. That's because at every stop in his short career, the talented Royals prospect has done nothing but produce at the plate.

Currently Giavotella is hitting .323 through 358 AB at the AAA level, one season after hitting .322 at AA. He's known for possessing good speed and gap power in a nice hitting package that consistently delivers at the plate, and this year that's exactly what he's proving. He has 9 steals currently to go with that high average and 28 extra-base hits (22 of which are doubles). It's the kind of production up the middle that many teams would love to have.

This season has been absolutely miserable for all of Kansas City's middle infielders, and the options at second base have been atrocious. To be honest, it's surprising that Giavotella hasn't already been called up weeks ago to the major leagues -- on a faster track even than Danny Duffy or Mike Moustakas. Chris Getz has been manning second for the Royals recently, but his OPS on the season is a horrible .640 -- showing that the seemingly impressive .270 batting average is simple some singles here and there.

Mike Aviles has been the same abysmal product with an OPS only .07 points better than Gets at .647. He's hitting .213 on the season and his .251 OBP is laughable. Combined with Alcides Escobar OPS of .598 and it's almost criminal that Giavotella isn't already making his home in Kansas City's everyday line-up.

Perhaps he'll be up after the All-Star Break, but fans know that it can't come soon enough. The options at the ML level for the Royals up the middle might just be the worst in baseball, and yet they have one of the brighter prospects at second waiting in the wings.

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