Pop quiz: Which National League team had the highest production, measured in fWAR (click for definition), from second base in the entire Major Leagues in the last 7 days? How about the last 14 days? It’s the Freddy Galvis-led Philadelphia Phillies.
Galvis’s expectations for the year were generally low; the young infielder was expected to be a warm body to man second base with a great glove and Michael Martinez-level offense. The early returns matched those expectations: Galvis started the season 0-12, reaching base only once with a walk. Galvis has been a different player in the month of May, however.
Galvis has hit .321/.321/.571 with 2 HRs in his last 7 games, .315/.351/.519 in his last 14, and .300/.325/.500 in the month of May. Galvis’s second-best-in-the-NL defense was expected – his offensive contributions on a team lacking punch were not. Galvis leads all NL second basemen in doubles, is only 3 RBIs off the pace for the NL second basemen lead in that category, and is fourth among NL second basemen in SLG%. Galvis is quietly building a case for Rookie of the Year consideration, pacing all rookies in doubles and RBIs, and effectively thrusting himself into a conversation that includes a guy nicknamed “Captain Kirk”, a hot-hitting shortstop from Cincinnati, and the legendary Bryce Harper.
Galvis’s increased production has put the Phillies in an interesting spot – what do they do with Galvis if he continues to produce when Chase Utley returns? Some have suggested first base or left field for Utley, something that even a year ago may have been unthinkable for a second basemen who may have had the greatest 4 year run for any second baseman of all-time. Utley-to-left may be an interesting fit: the Phillies currently rank 12 out of 16 in WAR in the NL from their left fielders and Utley’s production, even if at 80% of his previous production, would be an improvement over Juan Pierre.
Whatever the case may be, Galvis will force the Phillies to make a series of difficult decisions regarding playing time and that is OK with me.