- Full name Mychal Antonio Givens
- Born 05/13/1990 in Tampa, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 250 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Plant
- Debut 06/24/2015
Drafted in the 2nd round (54th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2009 (signed for $800,000).
View Draft ReportGivens started making noise as a prospect after his freshman season in high school, and he hasn't stopped. A veteran of the Aflac and Under Armour games from last summer, Givens has been evaluated at a national level repeatedly. Over time, he has evolved as a prospect, going from hitter to pitcher and back again. He has a strong, athletic body and physical frame, with elite tools including one of the best arms in the draft. He's reached 97 mph off the mound in short bursts and still shows above-average velocity from a low arm slot, pitching Plant High deep into the state playoffs. While some scouts do like him better on the mound, most see him as a reliever and see more value as a position player. He has strength and good hands that should allow him to hit for power down the line, though his swing will need tweaking. Defensively, Givens isn't smooth at short but has first-step quickness and plenty of arm. His Oklahoma State commitment isn't considered a significant impediment to him signing in the first three rounds.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Once a Top 10 Prospect as a shortstop, Givens returns to the ranking as a reliever. He first took the mound at low Class A Delmarva in 2013 but didn't break through until 2015, when he advanced from Double-A Bowie to Baltimore. Givens ranked fourth among qualified full-season relievers in 2015 with 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He hit just .247 with six home runs in 1,000 pro plate appearances, and given his athleticism and two-way background in high school, he seamlessly converted to the mound. Throwing from a low three-quarters arm slot, Givens has a plus fastball that ranges between 92-96 mph. His heater shows good life and sink. He also throws a slider and changeup, and both are solid-average pitches that can flash plus. He leaned on his slider in the big leagues. Givens made strides with his command when he began to pitch more out of a crouch to more consistently repeat his arm slot. He showed above-average poise in the majors, where he soaked up knowledge from other pitchers, particularly fellow low-slot righthander Darren O'Day. Givens will begin 2016 as an Orioles middle reliever but has setup potential.
When the Orioles drafted Givens with the 54th pick in 2009 and signed him for $800,000, they saw the potential to develop a strong, athletic shortstop who could grow into power. But after three seasons and an empty .247 average, the Orioles moved him to the mound in 2013. Givens had pitched a bit in high school, and the early results have been positive. Using a unique low-three-quarters arm slot, he has shown a plus arm with a fastball touching 96 mph. Givens' fastball shows good life and heavy sink, and he could be a future groundball machine. He recorded a 2.27 groundout-to-airout ratio at high Class Frederick and Double-A Bowie in 2014. His slider and changeup rate average, and the latter has made gains. He struggled with control in 2014 before making an adjustment in the Arizona Fall League, pitching out of a crouch to more easily get to his arm slot. Givens will begin 2015 in Triple-A Norfolk.
When the Orioles drafted Givens in the second round (54th pick) in 2009 and signed him for $800,000, they saw the potential to develop a strong, athletic shortstop who could grow into some power. But Givens didn't develop as a hitter, batting just .247 with a .311 slugging percentage in three seasons, mostly at low Class A Delmarva. He had pitched a bit in high school, so the Orioles moved him to the mound in 2013. The conversion went well, though he experienced some tenderness early on, missed a month and was limited to 16 innings at Delmarva through June. The Orioles were conservative with Givens, giving him time between bullpen outings, and in the second half his stuff improved. Throwing from the low three-quarters slot he used in high school, he pitched off an upper-80s fastball that ultimately sat 92 mph later in the year and touched 94 in instructional league. His low slot gives his fastball heavy sink. He throws his flat slider hard in the 84-86 mph range, and his changeup progressed as well. Givens has taken to the switch and has a great desire to be a success on the mound. He'll work in a relief role and could move quickly now that he's made the conversion, with time at Double-A Bowie likely in 2014.
Givens signed too late to play in his first summer, so he stayed in extended spring training before reporting to Delmarva at the end of May. Just seven games into his season, he ruptured a tendon in his left thumb sliding into first base, essentially turning 2010 into a lost year. Givens has a quiet approach at the plate, and his bat takes a short path to the ball and generates sharp contact. He should offer gap power, with the ability to hit 15 homers annually, though he'll need a lot of at-bats to refine his swing. He has middle-infield skills with solid-average range, a plus arm and good hands. Some clubs liked him more as a pitcher after clocking him up to 97 mph in high school. He has solid speed but won't be a big basestealing threat. Givens' injury cost him a year of development and created a jumble in the organzation's middle-infield depth chart. The Orioles want Manny Machado to play shortstop at Delmarva, but it may be a reach to send Givens to Frederick given his limited experience. He could end up playing second base across from Machado.
Givens jumped into the national amateur spotlight early and played in both the Aflac and Under Armour All-America games before his senior year of high school, and he was regarded as one of the best two-way prospects in the 2009 draft class. Eventually most scouts thought he would end up as a reliever on the mound and saw him more as a shortstop--as did the Orioles, who signed him for $800,000 as the 54th overall pick. Givens signed too late to make his professional debut last summer, but in instructional league he showed the athleticism the Orioles were looking for, with agility, balance, speed and strength. He has good bat speed and should be able to hit for power as he matures. He shows good actions at shortstop and has a plus arm, touching 97 mph when he was a pitcher. The Orioles expect Givens will need a good number of minor league at-bats and will need to tweak his swing to take advantage of his strength. He'll need repetitions at shortstop as well. While Givens has played a lot of baseball, he'll need refinement as a shortstop and hitter after spending a good bit of his high school career as a pitcher. He'll debut at a short-season stop after a stint in extended spring training.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Baltimore Orioles in 2010
- Rated Best Athlete in the Baltimore Orioles in 2010