In the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Kansas City Royals went high-floor, selecting Florida native and Lipscomb outfielder Michael Gigliotti. After the selection, I knew immediately Gigliotti would rank high among Royals prospects.
After two very successful seasons in college and a good showing in the Cape Code League, Gigliotti was owning a case to become a first rounder in the 2017 draft. But due to a fall in batting average and decline in plate discipline, questions rose. The Royals would ending up benefitting from this, grabbing him on the second day of the draft.
Gigliotti started his professional career off with a bang, smacking two home runs, one less than his junior season at Lipscomb. He finished the year with four total in 64 games, maybe showing that there is more power in that bat than originally thought. But because strength and bat speed aren’t necessarily his strong suit, he’ll need to cut down on his high GB-rate if he ever wants to add to his home run totals. But with the above-average speed, the extra-base totals should always remain at least modestly high, as he hit 31 doubles and nine triples in 165 games at Lipscomb.
There is a ton to like about Gigliotti at the plate. He uses a very balanced and upright stance at the plate that allows for a quick reaction time.
And then of course…. he does this a lot.
The plate discipline looked phenomenal in his first taste of pro-ball, walking 40 times compared to striking out a lowly 41 times. This correlates with his small 4.8% SwStr% rate, which was good for the second lowest mark in the Appalachian League among qualified hitters.
Overall, he looks good in the field. His speed and coordination allows for some flashy plays. The only negative is his below-average arm.
With a high-OBP, high GB-rate, a controlled bat, and a speedy profile, Gigliotti has a leadoff hitter’s profile. Expect the outfielder to move considerably fast through the system, being an advanced college bat. Look for him to start 2018 in High-A Wilmington with a chance to move up to AA Northwest Arkansas.
Photo Credits: Mary Lay