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Giavotella has hitting shoes on early in camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Second baseman Johnny Giavotella hasn't lost his knack for hitting -- he was 4-for-11 with a triple and two doubles in his first five Cactus League games.

"I'm feeling good, I feel confident in my mechanics at the plate, I'm seeing the ball well and having good at-bats," Giavotella said. "Hitting is always something I take pride in, something that I feel is my strength, and I enjoy getting in the box anytime."

This 2014 Royals roster will be tough to crack, though, with Omar Infante signed to play second base and the likelihood that just one backup infielder will make it. Danny Valencia is considered the front-runner there.

"I don't really think about it, I don't let it get to me," Giavotella said. "I just go out and do what I do every day and bring the utmost energy and intensity to every game, and play my hardest no matter what situation I'm in and help the team win any way that I can."

Giavotella, 26, has been a .317 hitter in his three years with Triple-A Omaha but, in three trials with Kansas City in those same three seasons, his average is just .240.

Last season, he played 29 games at third base and 20 games in left field for Omaha. Although the Royals are on a binge of moving players around in Spring Training, Giavotella hasn't been affected much.

"For the most part, I've been playing second base," he said. "I think that's where my value is at and I think they understand that too, and they're just sticking me there right now."

Giavotella, a second-round pick in the 2008 Draft, has been with four championship teams in his six years in the organization, including Omaha in 2013.

"Low-A, Double-A and two Triple-A -- I have four rings," he said. "Once you get that winning taste in your mouth, you don't want to lose it."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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