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Prospect Rankings No. 21: Freddy Galvis

Freddy Galvis, SS

galvis 1Born: 11/14/1989 in Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 154

At the most important defensive position on the field, Freddy Galvis is a wizard with the glove. His excellent range and slick glove at shortstop have scouts claiming that Galvis could be a major league infielder right now – perhaps even better than average. The 19-year-old has a control of his position that very few athletes ever develop and he still has room to grow. But before Galvis toes the dirt of a major league infield he has a ways to go at the plate to make his quiet bat match his wonderful glove.

When the Phillies signed the switch-hitting Galvis out of Venezuela for an undisclosed bonus in 2006, it was clear that he played Gold Glove-caliber defense and would need to develop offensive skills. In 839 career at-bats, Galvis is hitting just .236 with a .288 on-base percentage across four levels. His power rates about as low as possible on scouting scales, though his low slugging percentage has increased nearly 30 points this season. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that a teenager with such a small frame, especially one playing against older competition, is struggling to show offensive skills.

As Galvis makes his way through the Phillies organization – and playing at Clearwater at age 19 is good progress – he will need to do a few things at the plate to become a serious prospect. He has a decent strikeout rate of about one per 7 at-bats over his career, which could use some improvement to become a more productive batter. More importantly, Galvis needs to bring up his low walk rate (just over 6%) to get on base more often and allow his speed to shine. And when he does make it to first base safely, he needs to show a better ability to swipe bags consistently. If Galvis can do those things he could be a similar player to Elvis Andrus of the Rangers, who has changed that team’s style this season with Gold Glove defense and speed on the basepaths, despite being just 20 years old.

Scouts have often compared Galvis to Omar Vizquel for his magical infield play. He makes all the routine plays and also wows the crowd at least once a game with his range. If he makes offensive adjustments he profiles as a bottom of the lineup shortstop that doesn’t produce many runs, but saves them with his glove. With Jimmy Rollins plugging the shortstop hole for the Phillies in the near future, Galvis still has time to develop a complete game in the minors. And if he does match his offense with his defense he will certainly have a major league roster spot waiting.

Statistics

Year   Level   G    AB    H    HR   RBI   BB   K   SB   AVG   OBP   SLG

2007   Low-A  38  143   29   0     7   10   20   9   .203   .255   .252

2008   A      127   458  109  3   42    39   58  14  .238   .300   .288

2009   ROOK   7   29     8     0    0    1    4    1    .276   .300   .310

2009 High-A   53   209  52   1   14     9   33   6   .249   .282   .311

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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