Royals: Top prospect rewind, outfielder Michael Gigliotti

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

The Kansas City Royals’ 2017 fourth-round pick is facing a make-or-break 2020 season, as he’s running out of time to earn a promotion.

After playing two years of collegiate ball at Lipscomb and participating in the Cape Cod Baseball League, outfielder Michael Gigliotti was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2017. The fourth-round pick finished up a third year of college ball and continued that level of success in the minor leagues. Hitting .320 and driving in 38 runs in 64 games with Lexington and Burlington, Gigliotti put everyone on notice.

That success didn’t last long, though. Gigliotti tore his ACL six games into the 2018 season with Lexington, cutting his campaign short and sending him down a long road to recovery. Upon return, the 23-year-old posted mixed results across three different levels.

With the Lexington Legends, the left-handed center fielder hit for a .309/.394/.411 line and swiped 29 bags in 59 games. Upon earning a promotion to High-A Wilmington, though, things went south. That line fell to .184/.268/.230 in 24 games, a clear indication that Gigliotti had some work to do before he was ready to advance any further. He rebounded well in the Arizona Fall league, going 6-for-14 in four games.

Gigliotti’s legs are his moneymakers. A base-stealing menace on the basepaths and a rangy fielder with great instincts, it all comes down to how much the bat progresses. At his best, Gigliotti is a player who gets on base and moves over using his great speed. He’s a great defender with good instincts and the ability to track down just about any ball. At his worst, though, he’s a borderline unplayable bat — regardless of how great his baserunning and defense are.

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The 2020 season will be a huge one for Michael Gigliotti. If he gets back to what he does best and the bat comes along, he’ll join the AA team and his status as the Royals’ No. 12 prospect will be intact. If he struggles throughout the year, he’ll enter a freefall in the MLB Pipeline rankings.