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Johnny Giavotella and Jett Bandy: Top Angels Prospect Performances of 2014

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Taking a look at the minor league campaigns of both Johnny Giavotella and Jett Bandy.

Howie Kendrick's replacement?
Howie Kendrick's replacement?
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

20. Johnny Giavotella, 26, AAA. 2.6 WAR, .308/.373/.440 with 7 HR and 20 SB

Short stature, exceptional bat-to-ball skills, solid plate discipline, playable speed and meh defense all lend Giavotella something of a Shuck vibe. There are certainly worse place holders. Working in his favor is an unusual but persistent reverse platoon split, whereby he hits righties better than lefties. In the majors, that's only meant that he's slightly less bad against same handers (he's hit just .170/.264. against change-ups and splitters under the Pitch F/X eye), but the difference was more substantial in the minors. Against AAA righties he's hit more linedrives, and more balls to the opposite field, which meant 40 extra points of BABIP over the past two years. Given the more traditional and pronounced platoon splits of his righty-swinging competition, you can see why Giavotella intrigued Dipoto.

That said, a cursory interwebs perusal suggests that Kansas City fans--the ones who followed him, who watched eagerly in spring training--gave up on him long ago. He likely maxes out as a mediocrity, one of several who will compete next March to fill Howie Kendrick's very big shoes.

21.  Jett Bandy, 24, AA. 2.6 WAR. .250/.348/.413 with 13 HR and 2 SB

Bandy's second season with the Travelers was more impressive than his first due to increased power production. He pulled the ball more last year than ever before, and when he did pull the ball, he kept it in the air, which is a good recipe for inflicting damage. It was not quite an offensive breakout, but it looked mighty good for a backup catcher, and the performance does appear to boost his projected floor somewhat.

Can I admit something? I cannot wait to see how his pitch framing rates. He's a huge guy, but has a reputation for moving smoothly behind the plate. Losing Conger stings, and the org needs a new framing specialist.