The Kansas City Royals made a statement this offseason by acquiring James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for an array of MLB prospects. 2013 is going to be a tough year in the AL Central, with the Detroit Tigers being the odds-on favorites, however the Royals still have some players that can make a difference.
Although Spring Training is often about fun and games the Royals have a serious battle at second base between two players who share few similarities. Chris Getz is the more established second basemen, however at 29-years-old he hasn’t hit a home run in four seasons and lacks stability, playing in just 182 games in the last two seasons combined. Those in favor of Getz believe his experience at the position outweighs the youth of Johnny Giavotella who is also in the running to play second for the Royals in 2013.
Giavotella fits in with the current team, as he is only 25-years-old and has yet to get a prime opportunity at the big league level. Although he’s young, Giavotella’s minor league numbers are very impressive with a career .380 On-Base-Percentage. Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees led the league with a .379 OBP so the ceiling could be extremely high for Giavotella who is 3-11 this spring training.
Royals manager Ned Yost has said “I’m looking for the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win every single day — it’s as simple as that.”
As spring training goes on it’s important to keep an eye on both of these candidates, but I think the nod will eventually go to Giavotella as his potential will overshadow Getz. Also, don’t be surprised if Yost decides to platoon these guys as Getz hits from the left side and Giavotella from the right.