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Operation Offseason Improvement: The Second Base Quandary


A key acquisition by the Giants was that of Marco Scutaro. The Giants had their infield set, but needed a steady second baseman to complete the puzzle. If Brian Sabean hadn’t made this move, it’s hard to say that the Giants would be parading down Market Street on Wednesday

That said no one is mistaking Dayton Moore for a GM for building two World Series teams in the last three seasons. However, he does need to figure out what the team will do with second base having the other three infield positions figured out with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar.

Will Johnny Giavotella be Ned Yost’s starting second basemen in 2013 at Kauffman Stadium? Photo Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Looking at a list of free agents it’s likely the Royals will need to stay in-house or swing a trade. So here are the options, Johnny Giavotella, Irving Falu, Tony Abreu, or Chris Getz. Who all played in Kansas City this season. These four guys will be in direct competition for the starting job.

Johnny Giavotella
Age: 25
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
2012: Omaha Storm Chasers/Kansas City Royals
MLB Debut: 8-04-11 w/ Kansas City
2012 Numbers in KC: 53 Games/1 HR/15 RBI/43 H/21 R/7 2B/1 3B/3 SB/8 BB/.238 BA/.270 OBP/.304 SLG
Why the Royals Should Give Him a Shot: Has only played in 99 games the past two seasons in Kansas City spending most of his time in Omaha. In spring training he was given the opportunity to win the job but was unable to. After the injury to Chris Getz, Gio again got some playing time with KC but to this point, he hasn’t had enough playing time to get a clear idea of what he can do? Defense has been the biggest knock written against him but in two stints he has fielding % of .972 and .967 with 11 combined errors. Give him a chance because of his age and the numbers in a short samples, plus he is a second round pick but he might be on his last chance with the organization.

Irving Falu
Age: 29
From: Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
2012: Omaha Storm Chasers/Kansas City Royals
MLB Debut: 5-06-12 w/ Kansas City
2012 Numbers in KC: 24 G/0 HR/7 RBI/29 H/14 R/6 2B/1 3B/4 BB/.341 BA/.806 OBP/.435 SLG
Why the Royals Should Give Him a Shot: Falu was a fan favorite when he was called up from Omaha in May and played 14 games at second then five games at third/short. Of the positions played Ned Yost put him at second base 11 times. That’s a small sample size but offensively despite not hitting for power he did get on-base which should be noted compared to others on the roster. 29 hits in 91 plate appearances is interesting but at 29 years old and largely thought of a career minor leaguer can he do more than being a utility guy? I’m curious to see what could happen in spring training.

Tony Abreu
Age: 27
From: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
2012: Omaha Storm Chasers/Kansas City Royals
MLB Debut: 5-22-07 w/ Los Angeles Dodgers
2012 Numbers in KC: 22 G/1 HR/15 RBI/18 H/5 R/2 2B/1 3B/2 BB/.257 BA/.641 OBP/.357 SLG
Why the Royals Should Give Him a Shot: In 2010 he appeared in 81 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks and played equal games at second, third and short. Like Falu he saw most of his action at second starting 11 games there. While offensively he had a handful of two hit games and one three hit game this season. Defensively he committed one error in 65 defensive chances playing the three positions. Like Gio, Abreu needs to prove that he can hit given that in his last full time audition in Arizona he hit just .233 which won’t cut it. Abreu is still young enough to warrant the chance to win a job in Surprise next season.

Chris Getz
Age: 29
From: Grosse Point, Michigan
2012: Kansas City Royals
MLB Debut: 6-09-05 w/ Chicago White Sox
2012 Numbers in KC: 64 G/17 RBI/52 H/22 R/10 2B/3 3B/11 BB/.275 BA/.312 OBP/.360 SLG
Why the Royals Should Give Him a Shot: Fans like to rip Getz because well he’s Chris Getz plus when he seems to get going injury happens. It can’t help that fan favorite Mark Teahen was dealt for him either in addition to those setbacks. He’s a player who won’t hit for power but usually can get on base one way or the other. In his defense the adjusted batting stance did seem to work but having his 2012 season cut short due to a broken bone in his hand who knows what the finals stats would’ve looked like. Expect him to get every opportunity to start 2013 as the team’s second, given the speed option he provides.

Christian Colon is likely to start in Omaha but keep an eye on him around June or July if the previous options aren’t working.

Christian Colon
Age: 23
From: Cayey, Puerto Rico
2012: Arizona Royals/Northwest Arkansas Naturals/Omaha Storm Chasers
2012 Numbers in AR, NWA and Oma
Arizona Royals: 7 G/4 RBI/8 H/6 R/3 2B/4 BB/.364 BA/.481 OBP/.500 SLG
Northwest Arkansas: 73 G/5 HR/27 RBI/79 H/33 R/9 2B/2 3B/31 BB/.289 BA/.364 OBP/.392 SLG
Omaha: 5 G/1 HR/5 RBI/7 H/4 R/1 2B/2 BB/.412 BA/.429 OBP/.647 SLG
Why the Royals Should Give Him a Shot: Drafted in 2010 he started in the Carolina League with the Wilmington Blue Rocks after quickly signing. 2011 saw him in Northwest Arkansas primarily playing at shortstop that season before getting to play at second base. While most of this past year was spent in Double-A he did play in Omaha before the team shut him down for the after a foul ball off his eye. Being a Dayton guy expect him to get a chance to continue his upward climb this spring. In his career playing second base as a pro he committed only two errors with his mistakes coming at short. Offensively he’s not hit above .300 at NWA but he has shown he can take walks and get on base. He’ll be the wildcard in this race to watch of the in-house names.