KANSAS CITY -- Johnny Giavotella, who could be an integral part of the Royals' 2012 infield, is coming to Kansas City right now.
The Royals announced late Thursday night that they are calling up Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha. He's expected to arrive for Friday night's game against the Detroit Tigers.
Giavotella, ranked as the No. 7 Royals prospect by MLB.com and widely considered the second baseman of the future, has been hitting exceptionally well for the Storm Chasers, with a .339 average, .391 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage.
The Royals want to evaluate his talents as they prepare for next season, so Giavotella should jump right into a starting role, as first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas did when they were called up.
That would put second baseman Chris Getz in a backup role. Getz, considered a better defensive player than Giavotella, is hitting .256 with just eight extra-base hits. For Omaha, Giavotella not only leads the team in average, but is second in RBIs with 72 and also has nine home runs and 33 doubles.
Giavotella is a hard-nosed player who impressed Royals manager Ned Yost when he was with the Major League club in Spring Training.
"He is a scrap iron, he's a little, freakin' gamer, dirt bag-type player," Yost said at the time. "He doesn't fear anything. He's one of them guys, man, if you ever get in a fight, you bring your lunch because it's going to be there for a while. He ain't givin' up."
Giavotella, 24, will merge with shortstop Alcides Escobar, 24, in the middle of the infield. At the corners, Hosmer is 21 and Moustakas is 22.
Known as "Gio," he has 11 errors this season, 10 coming at second base. However, he has improved, as his .981 fielding percentage at second so far this season is the highest of his Minor League career. His fielding percentage has gone up every season he's played.
A corresponding roster move will be made on Friday, although infielder Yamaico Navarro, 23, is a candidate to be optioned to Omaha where he can play regularly so the Royals can gauge his abilities on a daily basis. Navarro was obtained from the Boston Red Sox last Saturday in a trade for infielder Mike Aviles.
Navarro has played the last two games at third base for the Royals and was 3-for-7 with three RBIs. But, after missing the two games to work on his hitting, Moustakas is expected to be in the lineup on Friday night.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam Holt contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.