Tip for making the bigs: Room with Giansanti

Cubs Minor League outfielder has seen seven former roommates called to the Majors

Tip for making the bigs: Room with Giansanti

CHICAGO -- Want to get to the big leagues? You need to room with Cubs prospect Anthony Giansanti.

Think we're kidding? Javier Baez, Eric Jokisch, Matt Szczur and Rafael Lopez all made their Major League debuts this season with the Cubs, and all are former Giansanti roomies. Logan Watkins, Mike Olt and the Marlins' Justin Bour also were in the big leagues, and also once shared living space with Giansanti.

On Sept. 18, the Minor League outfielder posted on Twitter: "Now I dont mean to brag, but I have seven ex-roomies in the show right now. Wanna make it to the big leagues? Live with me ... #GoodLuckCharm"

It's not Giansanti's home-cooked meals that help players get to the big leagues.

"He doesn't cook," Lopez said. "Does he even clean? No, he doesn't clean. He stays up all hours of the night. He's good for some quality laughs."

Giansanti, 26, isn't very demanding. He's willing to sleep on the sofa if necessary.

"He usually gets the couch," Lopez said. "So someone says, 'Hey G, we know you want to save some money -- do you want the couch?' He's the extra guy."

Giansanti also has had the prime sleeping space. In Rookie ball in 2010, two of his roommates were called up to short-season Boise, and for 12 days, he had the room to himself. One night, he returned to find someone sleeping in one of the beds.

"I opened the door and there's this shirtless monster laying in bed," Giansanti said. "It was Matt Szczur in football shape. I froze for a second, thinking I was in the wrong room, and thinking I was about to get killed."

Instead, Szczur, a football star at Villanova before committing to baseball, woke up and introduced himself.

Giansanti was selected in the 49th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by the Athletics, but he didn't sign. After another year at Siena College, he agreed to a deal with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent in '10. Baez was the Cubs' first-round pick in '11, and the two were paired together at Class A Peoria.

"We weren't just roommates, we were roommates -- we shared a bedroom," Giansanti said of Baez. "That's as close as you can get."

You'd think Baez would get the prime space, right?

"He had the big bed, and I had a bed on the ground," said Baez, who preferred a mattress on the floor because it was easier on his back.

In his first season with Peoria in 2010, Giansanti accidentally found another roommate in Jokisch.

"That was the best mistake ever," Giansanti said. "[Jokisch] said, 'Hey, I need someone to room with,' and I said, 'I need someone to room with.' We were the only two guys to stay for the whole year."

At least 15 other players passed through their apartment that season -- Giansanti said it may have been more -- but the two stayed. Every morning, Jokisch would play the same John Mayer song to wake Giansanti up.

When will it be Giansanti's turn in the big leagues? He has a career .260 Minor League average, 21 stolen bases, 18 home runs, 61 doubles, and he has played every position, including six appearances as a pitcher. The Cubs tried to convert him to catcher in 2012, but he only played two games there with Peoria.

"He was a very valuable player for us at Double-A," Tennessee hitting coach Desi Wilson said. "I don't look at his numbers, I look at the quality at-bats he had throughout the season, and the big at-bats and the defensive plays he made in the outfield. That stuff is valuable.

"I look at the intangibles. What does he bring to the team? We lost a lot of guys, guys got hurt, and we had Giansanti, who could play multiple positions and swing the bat as well."

Giansanti also has a perfect approach to the game.

"I turn everything into a positive vibration," Giansanti said. "I try to do that for all the guys. I don't let them get too down on themselves, I don't let them focus on things that are out of their control. I try to keep their eye on the prize. Baseball is fun -- have some fun."

If Giansanti can't get to the big leagues, he would consider acting, doing stunt work. He told Jokisch his dream job was to be the Phoenix Suns Gorilla mascot.

"I'm an extreme trampolinist and I have years and years of experience in stunt work and high falls," Giansanti said. "I like to think I'm pretty funny sometimes. [The Suns] were hiring, and my dad called me and said I'd be perfect at it. I decided to focus on my baseball career."

Giansanti can do impersonations, and he entertained the Minor League players and staff every day in Spring Training with his version of one of the Cubs coaches.

Watkins already has dibs on Giansanti to be his roomie in Spring Training 2015.

"He's the kind of person you like being around," Watkins said. "The game is hard and stressful, and when you have some personality like that around you every day, it makes it easier."

And that makes Giansanti a perfect roommate.

"You feel good, you play good -- maybe I just get guys feeling good and keep them loose and get their minds in the right direction and maybe it translates into their play. Who knows?" Giansanti said. "All I know is I like to treat everyone with respect and make sure they have a good laugh when I'm around."

By the way, guys, he has learned how to cook. He can cook Minute Rice in 58 seconds.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.