Angels Draft Inteview: Donato Giovanatto

Donato Giovanatto

The Angels have long craved athletic specimens that can wreak havoc on the bases and cause turmoil to the opposition by maintaining their aggressive organizational attitude. Enter Donato Giovanatto, a 33rd-round pick by the Angels on Friday.

Talk a little bit about your game and what it is all about.

Donato Giovanatto: I play the game as hard as I can everyday. My greatest asset is my work ethic. I have always been a hard worker and that is what has gotten me to this level. I have always had fun with the game. I am more of a tools guy. I try to do it all as best I can: run, throw and hit. I don't know if one facet of my game sticks out.

I had a really good year this year and it helped me get noticed. I am just happy right now.

Were you disappointed in where you were selected or did you feel it was just about right?

Donato Giovanatto: I was expecting to go higher because there were some teams who came around me, but I also knew there would be a chance that I would go later because I am a senior and don't have much negotiating power. They knew they could get me whenever they wanted. It would have been nice to go earlier but it still wouldn't have meant anything. I still get a chance to play and when it comes down to it it only matters how you play – that will determine if you go to the next level. I was just happy I got a chance to go to the next level.

Do you look at yourself and see someone who is still a little bit raw with room to grow?

Donato Giovanatto: Definitely. After coming to San Jose State I realized I have a lot to learn. I have learned and have some natural athletic ability so I know my hitting is only going to get better. Hopefully, with time, my power will get better because I still haven't grown into my body.

For the most part you were a double and triples guy – but you also have a good amount of speed. Is being aggressive something that you want to be at the professional level?

Donato Giovanatto: I probably would have had more stolen bases but the way our program is run it is very close to the bag. The coach didn't give the green light to me so I didn't have a lot of room to take a lot of bags. I love to steal bags and run around as much as I can.

We played at a big park in Municipal Stadium so it was easy to get it into the gaps. I should have had more home runs but the park kind of dictated it a little bit.

You led the team in RBIs as well. Is there a different approach that you take with men on base?

Donato Giovanatto: Definitely. You have to be hungry and the pitcher is going to up his game and you are not going to get the pitches you want. The mind frame has to be you have to take what you can get. You can't try and do too much. I have done that before, but this year I took it upon myself to fix that. I was much better at taking what I got and going the other way. Basically, going up the middle and the other way was huge to get the RBIs.

One of the things that really stuck out to me is that you were hit by 20 pitches. Did pitchers just not like you?

Donato Giovanatto: There were two reasons. Our team philosophy was with two strikes you crowd the plate. That wasn't a problem because I got on base a lot more often. The second reason was they liked to come inside on me because I like to get my hands out in front, and they thought that was the best way to get me out. It didn't always happen when they hit me.

You come into the Angels system. Is this a good fit for you?

Donato Giovanatto: I think so. I don't know too much about it growing up in Arizona. The people I talk to said it is a great place for a young player to develop.

An old teammate of mine, Brandon Wood, has obviously done well and flourished in the league and I am hoping I can do the same thing.

What is it about the game of baseball that you love?

Donato Giovanatto: The fact that it is so humbling. It is a sport that you get what you put into it. I played all the sports but this game – the harder you work pays off. It is a pure game. I just love it. I like the idea that it is an individual and team aspect.

You played in 60 games this season. Are you at all worried about breaking down in this second season, perhaps sometime in August?

Donato Giovanatto: Actually, I am. Hopefully my body will handle it. I am still young. It should be interesting. Playing 60 games did wear on me going into the postseason. But, I have had a chance to rest a couple of days and maybe another week so I look forward to it.

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