Givens, 26, began his career as a shortstop after being selected in the second round of the 2009 draft. But he moved to the mound when his bat failed to develop.
That has proven to be a worthwhile change for both player and team, as Givens now rates as a high-quality bullpen arm with a mid-nineties fastball and quality slider. Since reaching the bigs in 2015, he owns a 2.67 ERA with 11.3 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 over 111 1/3 frames.
Givens is off to a strong start in the results department through 6 2/3 innings in 2017, though his swinging-strike rate presently sits at just 4.9% after reaching 14.9% in 2016. He has allowed far more contact on pitches out of the zone (85.7%) than in his two prior years (when he sat below 60%), but perhaps that’ll prove to be little more than a small-sample blip.
Givens entered the current season with 1.069 years of MLB service on his ledger, meaning he will not be able to qualify for arbitration next year as a Super Two. Instead, his first of three seasons of arb eligibility will begin in 2019 — his age-29 campaign.