NEW YORK -- When you're in your 10th Minor League season and finally get called up to the Majors, it's imperative to make a good first impression.
"For sure, I want to stay here; I don't want to go back," Royals rookie Irving Falu said. "That's why I'm working every day on how to play the game and stay here."
Falu entered Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees with a .400 average (14-for-35) and having hit safely in his first nine games to tie a club record. With starting second baseman Chris Getz on the disabled list due to a left ribcage injury, Falu is being platooned with Johnny Giavotella at second, which Falu considers his best position.
From Puerto Rico, Falu was drafted out of Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa, in the 21st round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. He's been in the Royals organization since, never electing for free agency.
"They know me; they know I can play everywhere," Falu said of the Royals. "If I go with another team, maybe I'd have to start all over. Here I'm comfortable."
After all those years in the Minors, didn't Falu sometimes think of giving it up and going home?
"Yeah, sometimes I thought about it," Falu said. "Right now I'm 28; next month I'll be 29. But I thought all the time that I'd make it -- one day I knew I'd make it. With what team, I didn't know, but hopefully here with Kansas City, because this was my team my whole career."
So when Triple-A Omaha manager Mike Jirschele told Falu earlier this month that he was going to Kansas City, the second baseman leaped on his roommate, fellow infielder Tony Abreu, in sheer joy.
"I jumped on Abreu," Falu said. "I was happy, like a little kid getting candy."
Falu is here, and he's confident he'll stay for one reason.
"I know I can play this game," Falu said.