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03/03/11 7:01 PM EST

Yost raves about second baseman Giavotella

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Second baseman Johnny Giavotella's days with the Royals probably lie a year or two ahead, but he's made quite an impression on manager Ned Yost.

"He is a scrap iron, he's a little, freakin' gamer, dirt bag-type player," Yost said. "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, who hit .322 last season for the Texas League champion Northwest Arkansas team, started for the Royals on Thursday and was 0-for-1 but walked and also was struck in the helmet by a pitch from the Angels' Fernando Rodney.

"I thought it was going to go over my head and I just ducked down in case it did come down and plunk me in the head. It did and I took first base -- that's my job so I was happy about it," he said.

Giavotella stayed in the game, then scored a run and said he was just fine.

"It was just a little curveball, so it really didn't bother me," he said.

That's the kind of player that managers love to see.

"He's got some things he has to continue to focus on defensively but, yeah, he's a winning-type player," Yost said. "He's got an edge to him. He plays the game with an edge and loves to compete."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.