Angels Deal for 2B Johnny Giavotella


Citing a report from Alden Gonzalez of, the Angels have traded for 27-year-old second baseman, Johnny Giavotella, from the Kansas City Royals. Giavotella was designated for assignment on Thursday by the Royals in order to make room on the 40-man roster for the recently signed, Kris Medlen. The Halos sent 28-year-old pitcher, Brian Broderick, to the Royals for Giavotella.

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The Royals originally selected Johnny Giavotella in the second round of the 2008 draft. The 5’8 middle infielder has spent parts of the last four seasons in Kansas City, combining to hit .238 with 4 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Giavotella has posted a relatively unimpressive .277 on base percentage, and a dismal .334 slugging percentage. The diminutive Louisiana native has shown glimpses of his potential with the stick, but overall has failed to meet expectations with the Royals.

Giavotella has struggled at the Major League level offensively, however his numbers in the minor leagues suggest he does possess some upside. The University of New Orleans alum has hit .305, with 52 long balls and 393 RBI’s over the course of 7 seasons. Giavotella had an impressive 2014 season with the Royals triple-A affiliate in Omaha. Giavotella hit .308 in 2014, with 7 home runs and 61 RBI’s, while posting an impressive .373 on base percentage.

Angels’ general manager, Jerry Dipoto, puts a lot of stock in a player’s ability to get on base. Over the past four seasons in Omaha Giavotella has posted a combined .384 OBP. While Giavotella has had difficulty hitting for power in the big leagues, he did not have the same problems over the past four seasons in the Pacific Coast League. Giavotella posted a combined .450 slugging percentage during his time in the hitter friendly PCL.

Defensively speaking, Johnny Giavotella has shown himself to be an average second baseman. Giavotella saw extended time at second base with the Royals during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Giavotella posted a combined .970 fielding percentage and a range factor per 9 innings of 4.14 in 2011 and 2012. Both of these numbers fell below league averages. However, with Omaha last season Giavotella had a .976 fielding percentage and a 4.34 range factor at second base. Giavotella has seen time at second base, third base, and left field over the past two seasons. In 2014, Giavotella showed an ability to man the hot corner, as he held his own playing 29 games at third base.

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The Angels have added a number of infielders in the week since dealing All-Star second baseman, Howie Kendrick, to the hated cross-town rival Dodgers. The Halos already had a viable replacement in Grant Green, but they also traded for second baseman, Josh Rutledge, and drafted, Taylor Featherston, and, Chris Curley, in the Rule 5 draft. Giavotella figures to get a look next spring in Tempe for the starting second base job. However, with such still competition, Giavotella will have to really impress if he plans on playing second base next season in the big A.

I personally view Johnny Giavotella as a backup infielder, who is likely to begin the 2015 season with the Angels triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City. I think Rutledge is the heavy favorite to win the starting second base job, and Green will be utilized as the club’s utility infielder next season. Giavotella definitely has a chance to make an impact with the Halos in 2015, but it will likely take an injury or a horrible start from Rutledge for him to get his shot.

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