Name: Freddy Galvis
DOB: 11/14/89 (21 as of April 1, 2011)
Weight: 155 lbs
Drafted: amateur free agent, 2006 ($90,000 bonus)
Pre Draft Report: The Phillies began following Galvis as a 14-year old before signing him at age 16 out of Punto Fijo, Falcon, VZ. Scouting reports from prior to his signing are difficult to find, although most sources that previewed the 2006 signing period typically listed among “Other Prospects To Watch” or similarly titled categorizations.
Career Synopsis: After participating in the 2006 FIL, Galvis began his pro career in Williamsport in 2007 at age 17. He hit just .203 and both his OBP and SLG were below .260. While it’s difficult to pull many positives from that line, on the plus side, he did limit his strikeouts to just a 13% rate while walking at a 6% clip, both figures being quite encouraging given his age.
Galvis was ranked #13 on BA’s list of Phillies prospects in its 2008 handbook, based mainly on his already advanced defensive skills and some offensive scouting reports. Galvis spent all of 2008 at Lakewood, amassing 523 PAs as an 18 year old. Again, a .238/.300/.288 line was not particularly good (even given his age), but he did manage to further cut his K rate to about 11% and ticked his walk rate up a notch. He was named to the SAL Postseason All-Star team and participated in the FIL after the season.
The 2009 BA Handbook saw Galvis ranked at #18 in the system. He began the season in Clearwater. A broken right ring finger cost him over two months. He went to the GCL for a short rehab stint before returning to Clearwater, then got a handful of ABs in Reading at the end of the year. All told across 365 PAs, Galvis hit .240/.272/.296 with 7 steals in 12 attempts. His strikeout and walk ratios suffered to the tune of 15% and 4%, respectively. Following the season, BA ranked him as the 19th best prospect in the FSL.
Heading into 2010, Galvis was ranked #13 in the system in BA’s handbook. He played the entire season at Reading, putting up a .233/.276/.311 line with 15 steals in 19 tries. His K rate jumped up to 16% while his walk rate was still an acceptable 6%.
Needless to say, Galvis’ defense has been rock solid through his four seasons and would likely play at an above-average level in the majors right now. His combined offensive line through almost 1,600 plate appearances is .233/.281/.294. Despite the line, his defense and age have helped maintain his support among the folks who publish rankings, as the 2011 BA handbook ranks him at #20 in the system while Baseball Prospectus has him at #16.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Galvis’ raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Hit For Average: 40
Hit For Power: 40
Throwing Arm: 60
Summary: Galvis is one of the best defenders in the minors, and his defense is big league ready, either at 2B or his natural SS position. He hasn’t shown any ability to make consistent contact, hit for power, and steal a significant number of bases. Offensively, his upside is a good 8 hole hitter, and his downside is a player who won’t make it past AAA. Because he has been rushed and moved along so quickly, his bat may just have failed to catch up, and could improve over the next 3-4 years. But its a long road ahead.
Upside: Galvis is the most galvanizing prospect in the system. On one side, folks who look at Galvis’ age and hold out hope based on how young he’s been for every level he’s played at. On the other side, folks who have soured based on his abject lack of hitting prowess. Scouts do point out several strong points offensively (balance at the plate, bunting and moving runners, etc.), although it also appears that his speed is not quite what you’d expect from a slap-hitting middle infielder. At this point, it’s difficult to see his upside as anything more than a glove-first utility man; the hope now is that he can become merely average offensively. To that point, the Omar Vizquel comparisons that were thrown on him at age 16 (admittedly, these were mostly likely simply a result of him being a Venezuelan shortstop) have given way to Cesar Izturis comparisons. He’ll spend 2011 in Reading in what is a key season for Galvis. With any material offensive improvement, Galvis should be able to at least forge a career as a backup due to his glove, but speculation by some media sources that he could be an answer should Jimmy Rollins leave after this year appears to be quite premature.
Updated: 19 March 2012