A regular in Lipscomb’s lineup since his freshman season in 2015, Michael Gigliotti was an under-the-radar MLB First-Year Player Draft prospect during his first two seasons with the Bisons, despite hitting a combined .321 with 32 stolen bases.
Gigliotti didn’t pop up in the national spotlight until last summer, when he participated in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He showcased his dynamic ability, hitting .310 with two home runs, 18 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 155 at-bats and was named a league all-star for his performance.
“It was an honor and blessing,” said Gigliotti about playing in the Cape. “Every single day was a rush. Playing with some of the most talented guys in the country definitely tightens your level of your game and forces you to play 100 percent every day.”
Gigliotti also earned the Robert A. McNeese Award, which is given annually to the league’s top professional prospect.
“That’s the biggest thing I took away from the Cape was the confidence,” Gigliotti said. “Bringing that back with me showed that not only can I hang with everybody, but I can also perform with everybody. It was a blast.”
After his performance on the Cape last summer, along with his two successful seasons at Lipscomb, MLB.com ranks Gigliotti as the 23rd-best prospect in June’s draft.
With his junior season starting in less than a month, Gigliotti is only worried on what he can control.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I do in my mind, it’s all about the team,” he said. “Every day is a day and opportunity to get better.”
In Gigliotti’s first two college seasons, he became known for his ability to lay down bunt base hits. He’s led the nation each of the last two season in bunt singles, including 17 in 2016.
Gigliotti admits that he struggled laying down bunts entering his freshman season, but with advice from hitting coach Brad Coon, he improved.
“He completely transformed me as a bunter,” Gigliotti said. “My first game as a freshman, my wrist started to bother me towards the end of the game. I woke up and my wrist was stiff and killing me. I got to swing before BP off the tee, and I couldn’t. The very first pitch of BP on the field, I swung and let go of the bat. It was excruciating.
“Coach (Jeff) Forehand told me to bunt every time. I ended up going 4 for 5 with four bunt singles. That really showed me that if you bunt in the right spot, you have a good shot at being safe.”
Gigliotti’s best skill is his speed. He’s a base running threat and plays a solid centerfield, despite not having the strongest arm. A left-handed hitter, Gigliotti uses the entire field and make solid contact.
With the a thin crop of college position players in this year’s draft, Gigliotti has a chance of being a first-round pick.
Even though his name is swirling in draft chatter, Gigliotti’s only priority is to lead Lipscomb to a College World Series appearance.
“My No. 1 goal is to lead my team to Omaha (Neb.),” Gigliotti said. “We have a good group of guys and we have something special here. Hopefully we can make it to Omaha because everything else will take care of itself.”
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